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OKC remains top of Group D after 1-1 draw with RGV

By Tyler Vaughn, 07/22/20, 9:45PM CDT


Frank Lopez scored a late goal to help earn a hard-fought point for Energy FC against Rio Grande Valley FC Toros Wednesday night at Taft Stadium.

Deshane Beckford put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute with a solo effort to beat a couple of defenders down the left wing before firing past CJ Cochran from seven yards.

The Greens had several chances to equalize in the first half with Arun Basuljevic denied from close range by RGV goalkeeper Paul Blanchette in the 31st minute. Jose Hernandez’s then did well to beat his defender in the penalty area, but his effort from near the spot in the 49th minute was right at the keeper. Jaime Chavez nearly found the back of the net on the cusp of halftime, heading off the crossbar from a corner kick in the 53rd minute.

Cochran kept the home side in the match with a big save in the 68th minute. Robert Castellanos’s header off a corner kick deflected off the back of the head of Chavez, causing the ball to loop up and over Cochran, but the goalkeeper did well to make an acrobatic save and tip the ball over the bar.

OKC finally levelled the score in the 88th minute. Zach Ellis-Hayden’s long throw-in into the box was flicked on by Atiba Harris and fell to Lopez six yards from goal, who put his laces through the ball to smash it off the crossbar and down across the goal line.

Energy FC had a chance to grab all three points in the dying minutes of the game. Rafael Garcia’s free kick was whipped into the penalty area and missed just about everyone along the six-yard box, including the RGV keeper and a trio of Energy foreheads, before being cleared away to safety.

The Greens still remain on top of Group D, but San Antonio, Austin and Tulsa have two games in hand.

Energy FC has a bit of break before the next match. The Greens are back at Taft Stadium on Saturday, August 1 against New Mexico United at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at or by calling 235-KICK (5425).

Scoring Summary:

RGV: Beckford, 11’

OKC: Lopez, 88' (Harris)

Disciplinary Summary:

RGV: Kibato, Yellow Card, 20’

OKC: Lopez, Yellow Card, 62’

OKC: Ellis-Hayden, Yellow Card, 63’

RGV: Robert Coronado, Yellow Card, 97’

RGV: Taiberson, Yellow Card, 98’

RGV: Jose Hernandez, Yellow Card, 100’

OKC Starting XI: GK: CJ Cochran; D: Zach Ellis-Hayden, Atiba Harris (c), Nicolas Taravel, Kyle Hyland (Frank Lopez, 61’); M: Rafael Garcia, Brad Dunwell (Charlie Ward, 46’), Arun Basuljevic; F: Cordell Cato (Jose Hernandez, 38’), Kodai Iida (Jon Brown, 80’), Jaime Chavez (Christian Ibeagha, 80’)

Subs Not Used: Cody Laurendi, Ray Saari

RGV Starting XI: GK: Paul Blanchette; D: Carter Manley, Robert Coronado, Robert Castellanos (c), Jonathan Jimenez (James Murphy, 46’); M: Isidro Martinez, Kembo Kibato, Deshane Beckford (Taiberson, 59’), Kyle Edwards (Emile Legualt, 46’); F: Christian Lucatero (Juan Carlos Obregon Jr., 84’), Garrett McLaughlin (Kevin Rodriguez, 89’)

Subs Not Used: Ryan Coulter, Luka Prpa