Photo courtesy Steven Christy/OKC Energy FC
OKLAHOMA CITY – A flick of the head from OKC Energy FC midfielder Callum Ross helped end a winless streak that spanned more than two months as the hosts delighted 5,347 fans at Taft Stadium with a 1-0 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday night. Ross’ header came off a cross from Jonathan Brown that found him inside the six-yard box where he was able to deliver the game-winner. The late intervention was much needed for an OKC side that had sustained eight straight losses after opening the season with a 1-0 victory over rivals Tulsa Roughnecks FC. The sides combined for six shots on target in what was otherwise a defensive battle between two teams that rank in the lower third of the league in terms of offensive output to this point in the year. Energy FC doubled its point total with the win (2-8-0, 6 pts) while Colorado Springs fell to 4-6-2 overall (14 pts) on the back of its third consecutive road loss.
82’ – OKC – Callum Ross (Jonathan Brown)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Not only did Ross’ strike send OKC to its second win of the season, but it also broke what was a 599-minute scoreless streak for the side that dated back to a 2-1 loss at Fresno on March 31. In five shutout losses between the two games, Energy FC had been outscored 10-0.
2. Unbeaten in their last four at home, the Switchbacks have struggled to bring their form on the road with them this season. Saturday marked the second straight away contest in which the side has failed to find the back of the net and in six matches outside of Weidner Field in 2018, Colorado Springs has now been shutout on four occasions.
3. Goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel totaled three stops to lead OKC to its second clean sheet of the season. With two of the team’s next three outings scheduled against Tulsa and Seattle – two teams that have combined for two shutouts in 19 total matches this year – similar efforts from the veteran could help propel OKC back into the crowded Western Conference playoff picture.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Callum Ross, OKC Energy FC – With his team seemingly headed for a sixth straight goalless effort, the midfielder’s header helped change the narrative and put OKC back in the win column.
OKC Energy FC at Tulsa Roughnecks FC – May 26, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Saint Louis FC – May 26, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field