COLORADO SPRINGS, Col.– The Tulsa Roughnecks FC went into halftime down by a goal to the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, but came back with a strong second half to take a 2-1 win on Saturday night at ONEOK Field.
Michael Gamble and Joaquin Rivas scored the second-half goals in the Roughnecks second victory of the season.
The result was also the second win for TRFC head Coach Michael Nsien. The Roughnecks record moved to 2-2-3 after seven matches with the native Tulsan in charge, including a 2-1-2 home record.
The Roughnecks came out firing early, and came close to finding the back of the net a couple times in the first quarter of the match. In the fifth minute, Michael Gamble took an open shot from the center of the box that was saved by Switchbacks keeper Moise Pouaty.
A minute later, Gamble had another shot bounce off the crossbar.
The third chance came in the 13th minute off of a corner. From the right side, Isaac Diaz delivered a ball to the middle of the box. Claudio Munoz was there and connected with a header that went just high of the crossbar.
Chase Gentry got his first start of the season for the Roughnecks and perfectly executed his first save attempt. In the 28th minute, Switchbacks midfielder Sam Hamilton took a shot from outside the box, but Gentry made a nice dive to his left to prevent the goal.
With the clock winding down in the first half, Colorado Springs started applying more pressure on Tulsa and eventually found the back of the net. After forcing the back line to deflect a few shots, forward Shane Malcolm served a perfect ball to defender Taylor Hunter. From the left, Hunter struck the header into the bottom right corner of the goal that was just out of Gentry’s reach to put the Switchbacks up 1-0.
Despite heading into halftime being down, the Roughnecks controlled the first half. Tulsa had over 60% of the possession and took more shots than Colorado Springs.
The Roughnecks opened the second half by applying pressure to the Switchbacks. Tulsa earned a pair of corners in the early minutes of the half, but nothing came of them.
However, in the 55th minute, TRFC found the equalizer. Josh Morton found Gamble from 5 yards outside the box. Having only one defender to beat, Gamble made a beautiful left-footed shot that beat the keeper to the near post and evened things up at 1-1.
The Roughnecks produced the game winner in the 71st minute. From midfield, Diaz delivered a perfect ball to a running Joaquin Rivas, who had just entered the game to make his first substitution appearance of the season. Rivas received the ball just inside the box and put a nice touch on the shot, getting it past the keeper who was charging out, putting Tulsa on top 2-1.
Gentry came up big late in the match. With one minute remaining before stoppage time, Tobenna Uzo delivered a hard bouncing ball that the Roughnecks keeper smothered.
The Switchbacks had two golden chances to find the equalizer in stoppage time. In the 93rd minute, Josh Suggs delivered a ball to the center of the box off a set piece. Uzo attempted the header, but it was just right of the net.
With one last chance for Colorado Springs off a set piece, Suggs delivered the ball towards the goal, but Morton was there to head the ball away, as the referee to blew the final whistle and sealing the Roughnecks 2-1 victory.