Photo courtesy Kiel Maddox / Fresno FC
FRESNO, Calif. – The home fans left happy after Fresno FC defeated OKC Energy FC 2-1 in an entertaining match in front of 5,123 fans at Chukchansi Park on Saturday night. The opening goal of the match was a goal worthy of winning any contest as Fresno forward Juan Pablo Caffa stepped up and hit a beautiful free kick too powerfully for OKC goalkeeper Matt van Oekel for the Argentinian's first goal for the Foxes, but it wouldn’t be the winner as OKC wasted no time in responding, getting the equalizer six minutes later thanks to an open header from midfielder Jaime Siaj, found by a perfect cross from fellow midfielder Ema Twumasi. It was an end-to-end affair for much of the half, but neither team could add a second before the break, and that trend continued in the second half as both sides kept probing for a goal while chances proved hard to come by. Fresno finally restored its lead after a fudged clearance from the OKC defense allowed Rony Argueta to take advantage to tap it home after Caffa sent the ball into the box, and the Foxes held on for their first home win and second victory this week overall, capping a memorable night at Chukchansi Park.
15’ – FRS – Juan Pablo Caffa
21’ – OKC – Jaime Siaj (Ema Twumasi)
78’ – FRS – Rony Argueta
Three Things That Matter:
1. Possession isn’t always the difference, but in such a tight match Fresno just won the possession battle and it proved decisive. The edge was slight but that 53.4 percent of possession proved crucial for Fresno in the win.
2. One area where OKC Energy FC excelled was in picking off the Fresno passes, managing 16 interceptions in the match. That made life difficult for Fresno, struggling to build up long passages of play, making chances hard to come by.
3. With chances so rare in the match, it was important that when chances did come they were taken. Fresno proved far more clinical than OKC, scoring twice with just four shots, only having one off target for a shooting accuracy of 75 percent.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Juan Pablo Caffa, Fresno FC – Caffa scored a goal of the week contender to get things started before going on to lead his team to victory. Caffa may not have been credited with an assist for Argueta’s winner but it was his hard work to get the ball into the box that created the opportunity.
Fresno FC vs. Saint Louis FC – April 7, 8:30p.m. ET, Toyota Stadium
OKC Energy FC vs. Portland Timbers 2 – April 7, 8p.m ET, Taft Stadium