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Las Vegas Ends All Square with Tulsa

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 05/06/18, 1:09AM EDT


Roughnecks’ Rivas scores equalizer in return to hometown before 7,777 at Cashman Field

Photo courtesy L.E. Baskow / Las Vegas Lights FC

LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Lights FC and Tulsa Roughnecks FC exchanged goals in the first half as they played to a 1-1 draw before a crowd of 7,777 fans at Cashman Field on Saturday night. Las Vegas applied pressure early and went close to opening the scoring in the eighth minute as a close-range chance for Isaac Diaz was turned just wide by Roughnecks goalkeeper Fabian Cerda. Seven minutes later the hosts had the lead as Carlos Alvarez put home a flicked header from Diaz’s cross from the right for his third goal of the season, but after failing to threaten much throughout the first half the Roughnecks hit back a minute before the break as a great piece of control and finish by Joaquin Rivas leveled the score. Tulsa’s Michael Binns twice forced saves from Las Vegas goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino either side of halftime, including an excellent stop on Binns’ powerful free kick in first-half stoppage time. Lights FC was reduced to 10 men with 18 minutes to go when Matt Thomas was sent off for a strong challenge on Tulsa’s Adriano Jusino, and Tulsa appeared to have taken advantage moments later when Riggs Lennon put home a deflected shot by Jhon Pirez only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Despite being down a man, Alvarez almost put the hosts back ahead with nine minutes to go as Cerda came out to make a big save, and Lights FC threatened from the following corner as Cerda kept out Jaime’s header from close range, but neither side found a breakthrough in stoppage time as honors ended even.   

15’ – LV – Carlos Alvarez (Isaac Diaz)
44’ – TUL – Joaquin Rivas (Paris Gee)

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. Las Vegas came out strongly and put the Roughnecks on the back foot immediately, but while the hosts got a deserved early lead through Carlos Alvarez it was unable to capitalize fully before allowing the Roughnecks to get back into the game. Matt Thomas’ red card seemed to spark Lights FC’s energy in the final 15 minutes, with Alvarez almost pulling off a go-ahead goal that produced a fine save by Roughnecks goalkeeper Fabian Cerda, but Las Vegas will be disappointed it didn’t do more with its chances before the Roughnecks found its equalizer.

  • 2. Saturday night’s game was a homecoming for Roughnecks forward Joaquin Rivas, and the former University of Nevada – Las Vegas standout made it a memorable one with a finish that sparked the visitors to life after a lackluster first-half display. After Rivas’ goal Tulsa seemed to find the upper hand, with Michael Binns twice going close to finding the net before Riggs Lennon’s goal was ruled out for offside. Rivas’ fourth goal of the season earned the visitors a point in their fourth consecutive draw.  

  • 3. Having played up a man for the final 18 minutes, the Roughnecks might have been disappointed not to come away with a win, especially after the tight offside call that ruled out Riggs Lennon’s close-range finish. But Lights FC’s ability to battle through – and almost sneak a winner of its own – while down to 10 men showed more of the spirit that carried Las Vegas through last Monday night’s game with Real Monarchs SLC, and while the side will need to be better disciplined after a night that saw Joel Huiqui pick up his fifth yellow card of the season, the competitive attitude found within the squad is one that is impressive. Man of the Match

Joaquin Rivas, Tulsa Roughnecks FC – Rivas put in a strong shift in his homecoming, scoring the equalizer for the Roughnecks, recording two key passes and retaining possession well in leading the line.

Upcoming Games:

Las Vegas Lights FC at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – May 11, 9 p.m. ET, Weidner Field

Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Reno 1868 FC – May 9, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field

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