Stoppage-time header lifts OKC against Red Bulls Reserves
USL PRO Game Report
Saturday, May 31, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – Michael Thomas scored the winning goal in stoppage time of the second half as OKC Energy FC knocked off the New York Red Bulls Reserves 1-0 for its first home win of the 2014 season at Pribil Stadium in front of a sold out crowd of 3,777.
Thomas’ game-winner occurred with seconds remaining in stoppage time off a Christian Duke corner kick. Thomas headed the ball to the left corner of the Red Bulls net, past goalkeeper Ryan Meara.
OKC had several opportunities throughout the match, the first coming in the 26th minute when a shot by Thomas from about 20 yards out caromed off the right post of the Red Bulls reserves’ net. One minute later, Energy FC’s David Leichty had another chance, getting behind the New York defense on a Peabo Doue free kick, but Meara slid over and knocked away the opportunity.
In first-half stoppage time, Thomas again had an opportunity in close off a cross, but his header sailed just high of the crossbar.
In the 58th minute, New York had its best chance with a four-on-two fast break led by Red Bulls Reserves’ forward Andre Akpan through the middle of the pitch, but great defense by OKC’s Mark Howard and Gareth Evans halted the break just inside the penalty area.
Energy FC’s best chance prior to Thomas’ game-winner came in the 68th minute, when a Christian Duke shot from about 20 yards out floated inches above the crossbar. With the win, OKC improved to 3-7-0 on the season.
Energy FC’s next match is this Friday when the squad travels to Wilmington, N.C. to face the Wilmington Hammerheads in a 6:30 p.m. CT start.