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Craft goal earns Energy FC 1-1 draw with Vancouver

By George Darkow, 06/25/16, 10:00PM CDT


Coy Craft scored in his first game since returning from FC Dallas to help OKC Energy FC earn a 1-1 draw with USL Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 Saturday night at Taft Stadium.

With OKC trailing 1-0 in first half stoppage time, Energy FC captain Michael Thomas corralled a Kyle Hyland inbounds throw in the Vancouver box and shuffled a pass to Craft, who rolled a shot through the legs of Whitecaps FC 2 goal keeper Sean Melvin to knot the game at one.

Vancouver grabbed the 1-0 lead in the 20th minute, when Fatawu Safiu sent a give-and-go pass to Deybi Flores, who returned to Safiu inside the OKC box, where Safiu maneuvered around charging OKC keeper Cody Laurendi and sent a shot past sliding Energy FC defender Coady Andrews and into the back of the net.

Despite besting Vancouver in shots, 15-8, and shots on goal, 5-2, OKC was unable to push a second score past Melvin.

In second half stoppage time, Melvin denied chances by OKC's Peter Toth and Wojciech Wojcik, and on the final play of the match, Thomas sent a header off an inbounds pass at the net, missing high by inches.

With the draw, Vancouver retains its Western Conference lead, improving to 29 standings points, while OKC remained in sixth place at 20 points. OKC has played three fewer games than four of the top six teams in the standings.

Energy FC's next match is an international friendly with Mexico's Chivas Guadalajara. The historic match kicks off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, at Taft Stadium.

OKC's USL schedule resumes with a 7:30 p.m. match on Saturday, July 2, against Rio Grande Valley FC Toros at Taft Stadium.