By Ryan Chapman, Sports Editor
One week removed from their improbable comeback, Energy FC
found themselves on the other end of the celebrations Saturday night at Taft
Stadium. Portland Timbers 2 scored three goals in the last 25 minutes of the
game to erase a two-goal deficit defeating the Energy 3-2.
Energy FC gathering themselves before the start of the second half. Pioneer photo by Jenna Lowrance.
“Tough one tonight,” said Energy goalkeeper Cody Laurendi,
adding “self imposed mistakes, almost amateur mistakes,” lead to Oklahoma City’s
The result was especially disappointing for the Energy as they controlled the proceedings for the first hour of the game. Oklahoma City played their best half of the season in the first half, where they led 2-0 at the break.
“A week ago, we’re celebrating coming back from a deficit and scoring three goals and tonight we’re on the other end of it. I think all of us, coaches and players, understand that can happen. We have to make sure that we play with more intelligence and we make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Energy head coach Steve Cooke after the game.
The Energy controlled the game from the outset, earning
three corner kicks in the first five minutes, though they were unable to
convert any of those opportunities into goals.
Energy defender Mike da Fonte scored the opening goal on his home debut. Pioneer photo by Jenna Lowrance.
In the 22nd minute, Energy defender Mike da Fonte
converted the team’s fourth corner of the match, heading home Alexy Bosetti’s
cross into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Oklahoma City’s right back Christian
Ibeagha got behind Portland’s defense on the right flank and centered a pass to
forward Cordell Cato, who doubled the Energy’s lead with his second goal of the
Coming out of the half, everything changed for Oklahoma
“[At halftime] we said to the players you’ve got to reset
the mentality, you’ve got to start the game again,” Cooke said. “For five
minutes or so we did. And then, to be fair to Portland, they got on top of it
and played better than we did in the second half.”
Energy head coach Steve Cooke reacts to a missed shot. Pioneer photo by Jenna Lowrance.
Portland’s first real chance came in the 50th
minute when Energy defender Atiba Harris conceded a penalty kick. Renzo
Zambrano stepped up to take the kick for Portland, but he skied his attempt,
striking the ball well high of the goal.
Portland broke through in the 68th minute when
forward Brayan Hurtado fired the ball past the advancing Laurendi.
Zachary Kobayashi leveled the game with a 20-yard strike to
beat Laurendi nine minutes later.
Ryan Sierakowski completed the comeback for Portland in the
91st minute when he easily shook his defender and placed his shot
perfectly in the back corner of the net.
Laurendi said in the second half the Energy “couldn’t quite
take control of the game, which is what we need to do, especially two-nil up.”
Oklahoma City returns to action Saturday, April 13th
when they travel to South Texas to face Rio Grande Valley FC.
Laurendi said the Energy must keep “moving forward as best
as we know how and we’ll prepare for Rio Grande Valley as best as we know how.”