The games have been coming thick and fast for the Greens lately, and they looked like they had just played a tough game Wednesday night with a thin squad. Fresno looked like it had a week to rest and prepare, and the Foxes came out strong with an early goal.
Jamal Johnson brought a high deflection down out of the air and unleashed a fierce, left-footed strike from 30 yards that flew past Cody Laurendi and into the back of the net in the 8th minute.
Qudus Lawal nearly doubled the lead five minutes later when he was able to turn and get off a shot from the top of the box. Fortunately for OKC, the shot missed just wide of the post.
OKC’s only shot on target in the first half came in the 17th minute when Alexy Bosetti tried his luck from 25 yards. C.J. Cochran was able to get down to make the stop, though.
The hosts should have doubled the lead in the 19th minute. Juan Pablo Caffa delivered a cross from the left wing that found Lawal open at the back post, but the header from six yards out was nodded wide.
Laurendi was called upon in the 38th minute when Arun Basuljevic got in alone behind the OKC defense. The shot, although heading toward the back post, was at a comfortable height and Laurendi made the save.
In the 51st minute, Johnson created separation in the OKC penalty area and drove a shot that look set to burst the net again, but Laurendi soared across his line to tip the ball out for a corner kick.
The hosts threatened again just five minutes later when Lawal beat the offside trap, but his shot from inside the area sailed over the bar.
Kyle Hyland forced a save out of Cochran in the 63rd minute with a trademark left-footed strike from distance, but the Fresno keeper was able to punch it away.
OKC never gave up, though, and after absorbing pressure all night long, the Greens made the Foxes pay for not capitalizing on more opportunities. In the 79th minute, Rafael Garcia found Gordon with a 50-yard diagonal ball down the right wing. Gordon then put a dangerous cross into the box that found its way to Brown. Brown took a touch, pivoted and smashed a volley into the goal to leave Cochran rooted to his spot.
The result moves OKC to 21 points and up to sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
The busy schedule continues for Energy FC, as a trip to take on FC Dallas in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is up next. That match will be played Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Southern Methodist University. The Greens return home to Taft Stadium next Saturday, June 15 to face San Antonio F.C. at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 235-KICK or by visiting energyfc.com/june,
This Post-Match Report is presented by Southern Nazarene University. Learn more about SNU’s MASMA program here.
FRS: 1-0, Johnson, 8’
OKC: 1-1, Brown, 79’
OKC: Yellow Card (Harris, 33’)
OKC: Yellow Card (Sasivarevic, 39’)
Fresno FC Starting XI: GK: C.J. Cochran; D: Sam Strong, Ramon Del Campo, Michael Daly; M: Zachary Ellis-Hayden, Seth Mose, Juan Pablo Caffa (Renato Bustamane 84’), Elijah Martin; F: Arun Basuljevic, Jemal Johnson (Hiroki Kurimoto, 79’), Qudus Lawal (Jaime Chavez, 78’)
Substitutions Not Used: Sam Howard, Emir Alihodzic, Diego Casillas, Jorge Escamilla
OKC Starting XI: GK: Cody Laurendi; D: Mike da Fonte, Christian Ibeagha, Atiba Harris (c), Kyle Hyland; M: Rafael Garcia, Alexy Bosetti (Kal Okot, 60’), Callum Ross; F: Amer Sasivarevic, Omar Gordon, Deshorn Brown
Substitutions Not Used: Bryan Byars, Josh Garcia
Tag(s): Match Recaps