Photo Courtesy Bob Frid / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
VANCOUVER, B.C. – A two-minute spell completely changed the match and gave Tulsa Roughnecks FC a 3-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Wednesday night at McLeod Athletic Park. Juan Pablo Caffa opened the scoring in the 40th minute as Christian Thierjung refused to give up on the ball. After his initial cross was blocked, Thierjung crossed back for an unmarked Caffa, who was left with a simple finish. WFC2 was inches away from equalizing immediately as one minute later Brett Levis found space but his shot only found the post, the ball falling in to the arms of Tulsa goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland. Tulsa gave Vancouver a helping hand when Caffa was called for a handball when attempting to clear a corner. This allowed Marco Bustos to step up and bury the penalty, maintaining his perfection from the spot in 2017, to equalize in the 50th minute. Ian Svantesson got Tulsa back on track and ended his scoring drought after putting away a cross from Joey Calistri from close range. Less than one minute later Calistri turned goalscorer with an effort from distance that had too much on it for WFC2 goalkeeper Sean Melvin, doubling Tulsa’s lead. In the 78th minute a free kick allowed Cole Seiler to hit a diving header, beating Cleveland, but finding the post, and Tulsa completed its trip to the Pacific Northwest undefeated.
39’ – TUL – Juan Pablo Caffa (Christian Thierjung)
50’ – VAN – Marco Bustos (Penalty)
61’ – TUL – Ian Svantesson (Joey Calistri)
62’ – TUL – Joey Calistri (Modou Jadama)
Three Things That Matter:
1. With just five wins on the season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 has had a rough campaign, which continued with a frustrating loss. The defeat pushes Vancouver even further away from the playoffs, and it will be looking to just play a spoiler role in the final six matches of the season.
2. Tulsa finds itself in fifth place in the USL Western Conference largely due to some disappointing away results, with this match just their fourth win on the road this year. But this win could well give the Roughnecks some confidence going in to the final weeks of the season, with just two more away matches remaining.
3. WFC2 managed 22 shots, more than doubling Tulsa’s total of eight, but they proved wasteful. Just seven of those shots were on target, and most were too tame to beat Stefan Cleveland in the Tulsa goal, something which Vancouver will need to work on to have an impact in the closing weeks of the season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Joey Calistri, Tulsa Roughnecks FC – He may have only played 35 minutes, but Calistri undeniably had a significant impact on the result, managing an assist and a goal in a two-minute span which turned the match on its head. Calistri was instantly ready to get involved and just seven minutes after getting on the pitch had an assist, and finished the game having completed 86.7 percent of his passes in Vancouver’s half.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at OKC Energy FC – September 10, 6 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium
Tulsa Roughnecks FC at OKC Energy FC – September 17, 6 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium