Chad Bond’s strike from the corner flag proved to be enough to send Tulsa Roughnecks FC through to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after beating Seacoast United Phantoms 1-0 at Tulsa University on Wednesday.
Bond’s ‘banana kick’ broke a scoreless match in the 58th minute while goalkeeper Zac Lubin, a former TheCup.us Player of the Round, kept the sheet clean to steer the Roughnecks to a Second Round victory.
Tulsa will face the Oklahoma City Energy FC in the Third Round on Wednesday, May 27.
Despite travelling nearly 1,600 miles to face their second round opponent, Seacoast entered the match intent on extending their first Open Cup run since 2006. And they wasted little time announcing their intentions.
Inside of 12 minutes, Phantoms midfielder Anthony Grant broke through and circled Lubin in a bid for the opener. But his shot was cleared off the line to deny the guests of seizing the momentum early.
The Roughnecks found a golden chance of their own three minutes later. Gibson Bardsley powered a header from close range only to watch it smack off the crossbar.
After Bardley’s effort, the Roughnecks began to settle in and put pressure on the Phantoms’ backline. But Abel Perez nearly stole a goal for the Phantoms when he fired a shot that seemed destined for the back of the net. But Perez’s attempt met a fate similar Bardsley’s header when it hit the post.
Given that Tulsa had handily won the possession battle during the first half, Seacoast had to like its chances with the match still scoreless going into the second stanza. But any hope that they’d be able to pocket a goal and park the bus vanished just before the hour mark.
On a 58th minute corner kick, Bond whipped an inswinger that, somehow, curled into the back of the net, much to the delight of his teammates and the home crowd.
Tulsa nearly widened the gap in the 65th minute when Lucas Cordeiro fired a shot that slipped out of the grasp of Dominic DiMaggio and hit the crossbar.
With only a goal separating them from sending it to extra time, the Phantoms refused to back down. In the 70th minute, they tested the Roughnecks’ defense with consecutive corner kicks. But those opportunities went to waste, as the hosts held off their guests to get the victory.