A scoreless first half still proved to be an entertaining one with the Greens creating several chances to take the lead. Near misses and some good goalkeeping prevented those opportunities from finding the back of the net, but things went electric in the second half.
Substitute Frank Lopez scored one of the best goals of the season in the 65th minute – two minutes after entering the game. After receiving a pass from Hiroki Kurimoto 35 yards from goal, Lopez took a touch and unleashed an unstoppable rocket that flew past Tulsa goalkeeper Austin Wormell into the top corner for his third goal of the season.
As the Greens hung on to the narrow lead, Tulsa’s pressure intensified and it looked like the hosts had stolen a point in the 91st minute. Rodrigo da Costa produced a curling free kick from 25 yards that also found the top corner, lifting the spirits of the home crowd temporarily.
This match wasn’t to an end in a draw, and as such, it needed a Hiro. In the dying moments of the game, Villyan Bijev found Kurimoto at the top of the box with a cross from the left wing, and the midfielder guided an inside-the-foot volley past Wormell and into the side netting to silence the home crowd and send Energy Nation into a frenzy.
The win moves Energy FC to 17 points and up to 4th place in the Central Division. It also means the winner of the Wrench will be decided on the final day of the season, when the Greens return to ONEOK Field on October 30.
The Greens are back home Saturday, July 24 against Sporting KC II. Tickets are still available at energyfc.com.july24.
OKC: Lopez (Kurimoto), 65’
TUL: Da Costa, 90’+1
OKC: Kurimoto (Bijev), 90’+6
TUL: Corrales (Yellow Card), 14’
TUL: Suarez (Yellow Card), 25’
OKC: Ward (Yellow Card), 39’
TUL: Da Costa (Yellow Card), 63’
OKC: Osmond (Yellow Card), 89’
OKC Starting XI: GK: CJ Cochran; D: Conor Donovan (c), Mitch Osmond, Sam Rogers; M: Hiroki Kurimoto, Charlie Ward (Brad Dunwell, 90’), Jon Brown, Tucker Stephenson; F: Arun Basuljevic (Aidan Daniels, 81’), Jaime Chavez (Frank Lopez, 62’), Villyan Bijev
Subs not used: Kyle Ihn, Sam Howard, Mueng Sunday, Zach Ellis-Hayden
TUL Starting XI: GK: Austin Wormell; D: Solomon Kwambe (Moloto, 45’), Modou Jadama (Folla, 79’), Kevin Garcia, Jorge Corrales; M: Kembo Kibato, Eric Bird (Winters, 60’), Rodrigo da Costa, Marlon Santos; F: Matt Sheldon, Dario Suarez
Subs not used: Lewis, Cunningham, Ayagwa, Coutinho