The opening half of play saw very little to separate the sides, as possession was even and neither goalkeeper was really tested.
The second half was much livelier than the first, and the Greens came out with a sense of urgency with Zach Ellis-Hayden causing problems for the Legion defense. Just four minutes after the restart, the right wing back drove two thirds of the field, beating a couple of Birmingham defenders and squaring to Jaime Chavez, but a last-ditch block kept the game scoreless.
In the 55th minute, Arun Basuljevic cut the ball back from the left side of the end line, finding Villyan Bijev in the penalty area, but his first-time effort trickled wide of the near post.
Second half substitute Tucker Stephenson got involved immediately with a cross-field ball that found Chavez, who attempted a volley from a tight angle that just skipped past the far post in the 73rd minute.
Birmingham had their best chance of the match just two minutes later. A shot in the box rebounded out to Bruno Lapa at the top of the box, and his first-time shot found its way through traffic but CJ Cochran was able to get down and make a strong save to preserve the team’s ninth clean sheet of the season.
Energy FC moves to 37 points and remains in the fifth spot in the Central Division.
The Greens finish the 2021 regular season with two road matches. Up next is a trip to take on El Paso Locomotive FC next Sunday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. The following Saturday, October 30, OKC heads up the turnpike to face FC Tulsa at 7:00 p.m. with the winner taking home the Wrench.
BHM: A. Crognale (Yellow Card), 52’
BHM: Asiedu (Yellow Card), 88’
BHM: Lopez (Yellow Card), 90+2’
OKC: Osmond (Yellow Card), 90+3’
BHM: Kavita (Yellow Card), 90+4’
OKC: Chavez (Yellow Card), 90+5’
OKC Starting XI: GK: CJ Cochran; D: Conor Donovan (c), Mitch Osmond, Lamar Batista; M: Zach Ellis-Hayden, Deklan Wynne (Tucker Stephenson, 72’), Hiroki Kurimoto, Arun Basuljevic ; F: Jaime Chavez, Aidan Daniels (Seyi Adekoya, 72’), Villyan Bijev
Subs not used: Sam Howard, Jon Brown, Kodai Iida, Mueng Sunday, Brad Dunwell
BHM Starting XI: GK: Matt VanOekel; D: Phanuel Kavita (c), Mikey Lopez, Alex Crognale, Jonathan Dean; M: Anderson Asiedu, Ryan James, Bruno Lapa (Eli Crognale, 78’), Prosper Kasim (JJ Williams, 67’), Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Zach Herivaux, 66’); F: Junior Flemmings (Jaden Servania, 78’)
Subs not used: Trevor Spangenberg, Jake Rufe, Ben Ofeimu