Chances came often in the opening 45 minutes with Kyle Hyland coming close on several trademark shots from long range. The closest of the bunch came in the 43rd minute, when the left back’s strike from 25 yards smacked against the corner of the post and crossbar.
Eissele nearly opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a left-footed strike from the top of the box, but Rayados goalkeeper Frias Ramirez was able to get down and make the save.
Sasivarevic came close to opening his professional account in the 31st minute. Eissele stole the ball off a defender and played it to the top of the box for Sasivarevic to get off a right-footed shot that was headed for the back of the net before it was kicked away by Ramirez.
In the second half, the Greens picked up where they left off in the first and were finally rewarded. An Alexy Bosetti corner kick was met by Sasivarevic at the near post and his downward header crept across the line to give the 24-year-old a goal on his professional debut.
Rayados didn’t take long to get back into the match with a goal against the run of play. Former Energy FC U23 forward Christian Okeke created a yard of space from a tight angle inside the penalty area, and his low shot sneaked past Bryan Byars to level the score.
OKC reclaimed the lead in the 81st minute from the penalty spot. A long ball over the top from Rafael Garcia, who had just subbed on minutes before, found Sasivarevic, who controlled the pass before being fouled from behind. Eissele stepped up and blasted the ball down the middle of the goal to put Energy FC ahead for good.
The Greens sealed their spot in the next round in the 91st minute, again from the penalty spot, when Omar Gordon was taken out by Ramirez just as the striker was looking to round the keeper and score. Je-Vaughn Watson stepped up this time and calmly passed the ball into the back of the net for his first goal in his first start for OKC.
The win sets up a 3rd round matchup with USL Championship side, and current Eastern Conference leaders, the Tampa Bay Rowdies on May 29. That fixture will also be held at John Crain Field.
Energy FC return to Taft Stadium this Saturday, May 18 to take on Real Monarchs SLC in USL Championship action. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m, and ticket information can be found at energyfc.com/may18 or by calling (405)235-KICK.
Tag(s): Match Recaps