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Bonner, OKC Stun RGV to Advance in USL Playoffs

By George Darkow, 10/01/16, 11:30PM CDT


Colin Bonner's two second half stoppage time goals lift Energy FC

EDINBURG, Texas — In an astounding finish, OKC’s Colin Bonner scored two goals in second half stoppage time as seventh-seeded Energy FC stunned the second-seeded Rio Grande Valley FC Toros, 3-2, to advance to the second round of the 2016 USL Playoffs Saturday night at H-E-B Field.

With Energy FC trailing 2-1 late in second half stoppage time, Energy FC’s Michael Harris sent an inbound flip-throw into the RGV box, where Bonner headed the bounding ball over Toros goal keeper Devin Perales to tie the match at two.

Moments later, on an OKC corner kick, Luis Martinez sent a low liner into the box, where Bonner powered a header past Perales for what would be the game’s deciding goal.

The win was OKC’s second playoff victory in franchise history and the club’s first win over RGV FC in four tries this season.

Rio Grande Valley took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute, when Memo Rodriguez shuffled a lead pass to the left side of the OKC box, where Ruben Luna sent a shot past diving OKC keeper Cody Laurendi.

OKC tied the match in the 73rd minute when Michael Byskov lofted the ball into the RGV box, where Michael Thomas headed it to Linus Olsson, who headed a shot past Perales.

Less than three minutes later, the Toros regained the lead when a wide-open Eric Bird rifled a shot past a diving Laurendi.

Toward the end of regulation time, Laurendi and defenders Cyprian Hedrick and Coady Andrews made a number of defensive stops – including one on a Luna chance and another on Yair Arboleda – to keep OKC’s deficit at a single goal.

Energy FC next faces sixth-seed Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 in the Western Conference semifinal round. The match will be a 2:00 p.m. CDT start on Saturday, Oct. 8 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.