The Tulsa Roughnecks of the United Soccer League took a commanding lead in the first half and took care of business at home the rest of the way with a 5-3 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup win over the Oklahoma City Energy U23s on Wednesday night.
Pavel Kondrakhin scored twice for the Roughnecks in the victory.
The University of Tulsa found itself host to the US Open Cup for the second time in as many weeks for OKC Energy U23s vs. Tulsa at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Complex. Both teams came into the match fresh off of weekend victories.
Oklahoma City began the first half unafraid of the Roughnecks, and both sides came out swinging. All that changed when Jaime Ayala scored the opener in the 8th minute. From that point on, Tulsa sat firmly in the driver’s seat, doubling their lead within five minutes thanks to Christian Mata.
Oklahoma City found themselves without meaningful possession for long periods during the rest of the first half, only managing to break into the final third on breakaway counters that came to nothing. Tulsa scored a third in stoppage time thanks to a lovely one-two play from Christian Mata finished by Kondrakhin.
The second half started in much the same way the first had, with both teams playing aggressively and openly culminating in a Roughnecks goal for Kondrakhin. This time, however, the Energy came charging back with a vengeance. Suddenly Oklahoma City had the lion’s share of possession and the better of the scoring chances. The Energy finally got on the scoreboard thanks to Mark Lindstrom, and they kept the pressure high.
Within the next 15 minutes, Oklahoma City managed to force an own goal and score again via Christian Okeke. The match also turned physical during this stretch, with four yellow cards shown between the two clubs.
In the end, Tulsa held on to emerge victorious by a score of 5 to 3. The Tulsa Roughnecks will go on to host San Antonio FC on Wednesday, May 31. The winner of that match will take on the defending US Open Cup champion FC Dallas (MLS) in Round 4.