Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC
OKLAHOMA CITY – Alex Dixon scored a pair of goals as OKC Energy FC took a 2-0 victory against USL Western Conference leader Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday night at Taft Stadium. Energy FC had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot in the 11th minute, but Andy Craven’s shot to the right corner of the net went wide of the net. The hosts took the lead 12 minutes later, however, as Craven opened up a chance for Alex Dixon, who fired into the top-right corner of the net from just inside the penalty area. Chase Minter had a shot blocked from the left side of the penalty area for the Monarchs moments later, but OKC held its lead until the halftime break. Energy FC added to its lead 11 minutes into the second half, however, as Craven got in behind the Monarchs’ defense, and after drawing Real goalkeeper Connor Sparrow set up Dixon for his second goal of the night. The Monarchs tried to find a way back into the game, but the hosts were solid defensively to earn a shutout, and a big home victory.
23’ – OKC – Alex Dixon
56’ – OKC – Alex Dixon (Andy Craven)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Energy FC took a second big win this week, and recorded a second shutout, as it extended its undefeated streak to five games and further boosted its playoff prospects. Alex Dixon provided the goals on Saturday night with an outstanding finish into the top-right corner of the net after the side’s early penalty kick miss could have deflated the team and the crowd. The second goal proved a lot simpler, laid on by Andy Craven’s driving run forward as he timed his run well to beat the Monarchs’ back line. Now sitting with six goals this season, Dixon and Energy FC’s attack is starting to hit stride.
2. As well as the Energy FC attack performed in its limited opportunities, the side’s defense put in a tremendous display to limit the clear looks on goal the Monarchs carved out. One of the most fluid attacks in the league this season, Real was unable to break down the well-organized Energy FC group led by Kyle Hyland and Mickey Daly. With Coady Andrews playing a higher role than his regular center back position, which provided the opportunity to break up Monarchs’ attacks before they got going, it was a frustrating night for Real as it fell for the third time this season.
3. The Monarchs have always looked to find things to work on regardless of results, and a tough week that saw the side held scoreless in back-to-back games will offer something for the side to try and rally around as it moves forward. While the side’s lead at the top of the Western Conference was cut into on Saturday night, Real still has a decent cushion at the top of the standings. With Rocky Mountain rival Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC visiting Rio Tinto Stadium next Saturday, the side will expect a lot more than it showed over the past week.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Alex Dixon, OKC Energy FC – Dixon scored both goals as Energy FC extended its undefeated streak to five games as the side solidified its place in the playoff positions.
OKC Energy FC at Tulsa Roughnecks FC – August 12, 8:30 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Real Monarchs SLC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – August 12, 9 p.m. ET, Rio Tinto Stadium