AP NEWS

SAFC increases unbeaten streak to 5

May 20, 2018 GMT

San Antonio FC has never lost to Tulsa Roughnecks FC. Not in San Antonio, not in Oklahoma, not in regulation of a United Soccer League contest. The trend continued Saturday, but one would not fault the local club if it did not feel like celebrating the streak’s extension.

Despite controlling the majority of play and creating more scoring opportunities, SAFC settled for a 1-1 draw with Tulsa before 7,502 at Toyota Field.

“We haven’t lost (in five matches), but if you go in the locker room you’ll find players that are disappointed,” SAFC coach Darren Powell said. “We didn’t lose tonight, but we have a passionate group of players, which is very important, and every time they play and step on the field they have the desire to win.”

SAFC was 5-0 against Tulsa entering Saturday and had won those games by a combined 12-3 margin. The Roughnecks defeated SAFC on penalty kicks during the third round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

SAFC’s dominance over Tulsa, though, changed Saturday. In the first of two meetings this season between the teams - they play again on Sept. 15 in Oklahoma - both teams were able to capitalize on chances in the early stages of each half.

Tulsa (0-4-6) took advantage of a SAFC turnover to tie it at 1-1 in the 51st minute. Forward Mike Gamble played the give-away to forward Joaquin Rivas, who took three touches before unleashing a left-footed blast just inside the left post from 20 yards out. It was Roughnecks FC’s ninth goal in 10 games. The team had been shut out three times and scored only a goal four times.

Tulsa’s goal came on its first shot on target and quickly shifted the momentum in a contest that the local club had thoroughly dominated, possessing the ball for nearly 54 percent of the opening half and holding a 4-1 edge in shots on goal. Tulsa would cause a few other anxious moments thereafter, finding openings in SAFC’s defense, but came away empty each time.

SAFC needed little time to grab the underhand, taking a 1-0 advantage in the seventh minute on midfielder Omar Gordon’s goal off an assist from defender Greg Cochrane.

Defender Ryan Roushandel started the scoring sequence when he found Cochrane in stride with a long pass down the left sideline. Cochrane made a run just inside the penalty area and sent a pass in front of goal. Tulsa midfielder Nemanja Vukovic whiffed on a clearance attempt and the ball landed at the feet of Gordon, who put a line-drive just under the crossbar for his first goal in USL competition.

With the tie, SAFC (3-2-5) increased its unbeaten streak to five, the fourth time it has accomplished the feat in franchise history. It is the second-longest such streak, trailing the record 14-match unbeaten streak recorded last year.

SAFC returns to action Wednesday when it hosts the Colorado Springs Switchbacks at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.