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Energy FC 1, Birmingham Legion 2

By Tyler Vaughn, 06/12/21, 9:45PM CDT


Birmingham Legion FC found a late winner to take all three points, after Villyan Bijev scored his second goal of the season Saturday night at Taft Stadium.

The Greens went behind early as Birmingham struck in the third minute via a route one goal. Goalkeeper Matt VanOekel’s free kick from near his own penalty area was flicked by Jerome Williams into the path of Neco Brett, who was able to volley past CJ Cochran from 12 yards.

OKC rebounded from the shock start to dominate the remainder of the first half, with Rob Coronado’s 30-yard free kick nearly finding the top corner in the 38th minute and Jaime Chavez’s header from six yards just sailing over the bar in the 42nd minute.

Energy FC continued to take the game to Birmingham in the second half and were finally rewarded when Ryan James fouled Bijev in the penalty area in the 72nd minute. Up stepped Bijev a minute later, who stutter stepped before guiding his low shot to the right past VanOekel.

Despite the Greens finishing the game with 60% of the possession and registering 14 shots, it was the visitors who found the winning goal.

Jonathan Dean’s cutback from the end line in the 84th minute found its way to Williams at the six-yard box, who was able to put it into the empty net and give Birmingham all three points.

The Greens are back on the road next Saturday, June 19 at Memphis 901 FC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be streamed live on ESPN+. The next home match is Wednesday, June 23 against Sporting KC II, and tickets can be found at

Scoring Summary:

BHM: Brett (Williams), 3’

OKC: Bijev, 73’

BHM: 84’

Disciplinary Summary:

BHM: Asiedu, Yellow Card, 36’

OKC: Bijev, Yellow Card, 50’

BHM: James, Yellow Card, 66’

OKC: VanOekel, Yellow Card, 73’

OKC Starting XI: GK: CJ Cochran; D: Zach Ellis-Hayden, Conor Donovan (c), Mitch Osmond, Rob Coronado; M: Hiroki Kurimoto, Charlie Ward, Aidan Daniels (Tucker Stephenson, 89’), Arun Basuljevic (Jon Brown, 89’); F: Villyan Bijev, Jaime Chavez (Frank Lopez, 79’)

Subs not used: Kyle Ihn, Samual Rogers, Brad Dunwell, Mueng Sunday

BHM Starting XI: GK: Matt VanOekel; D: Phonvel Kauita (c), Zach Herivaux, Alex Crognale (Junior Flemmings, 64’), Ben Ofeimu (Eli Crognale, 57’); M: Anderson Asiedo, Ryan James, Bruno Lapa (Mikey Lopez, 86’), Johnny Dean; F: Neco Brett (Jaden Servania, 86’), JJ Williams

Subs not used: Trevor Spangenberg, John Rufe, Daigo Kobayashi