OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC won its first game in more than a month, breaking a four-game undefeated streak, with a 1-0 win against Orange County SC on Saturday night at Taft Stadium. Here are three key takeaways from the contest.
BREAKS OF THE GAME: When you’ve been going through the type of form OKC Energy FC has, it never hurts to have some good fortune on your side. Head Coach Steve Cooke’s side got some early and late in its victory against Orange County, starting with the wicked deflection on newcomer Alvin Jones’ optimistic free kick in the fifth minute that left OCSC goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes with little chance to recover to make a save. The other break arrived late on as OKC was looking to protect its lead from a strong half of pressure from the visitors. Another night, a different referee, Mike da Fonte’s block of Aodhan Quinn’s open look from the middle of the penalty area might have been called as a handball as Orange County’s players appealed. Instead, it was just a corner, and Energy FC survived.
WIND AT THEIR BACKS: The prevailing breeze once again seemed to have a major effect on Saturday’s contest, with Energy FC dominant in the first half and Orange County dominant in the second as they got the wind in their sails to help push the attack. OCSC took 17 of its 20 shots in the second half as it chased the game, but despite the introduction midway through the half of Frankie Amaya for his debut for the club the visitors just weren’t able to find the headway they had in their previous two outings as Energy FC’s defense closed down quickly on a regular basis to record nine blocked shots.
THE CENTURION: When Energy FC’s defense wasn’t filling the shooting lanes for Orange County, OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi was there to make sure the side’s early goal stood up to earn all three points. It was a landmark night for Laurendi, who was making his 100th regular-season appearance in the Championship, Saturday his 68th in Energy FC’s colors. The 30-year-old has become a firm fan favorite since his arrival in Oklahoma City, with his comeback from serious injury midway through 2018 one of the silver linings in what was a tough season. To bring up his 30th career shutout in the performance added a grace note to an important result for the side.