OKLAHOMA CITY (Thursday, August 14, 2014) — Goals on either side of the half helped Arizona United Soccer Club keep its USL PRO playoff hopes alive following a dramatic 2-1 victory over the OKC Energy FC at Pribil Stadium on Thursday night.
Forward Jonathan Top notched his fourth goal of the season when he finished a Paolo DelPiccolo assist in the fourth minute, and recently signed midfielder Sam Garza recorded his professional goal when he calmly slotted home a penalty in the 75th minute.
With three points in hand from the win, Arizona United Soccer Club is tied for 12 in the regular-season standings and five points out of a playoff position with four matches remaining.
Arizona United SC jumped out to an aggressive start and scored the opening goal when a ball was played to Brad Stisser down the left wing. Stisser collected the ball and whipped a cross from the left wing into the box. Midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo out-jumped an Energy FC defender and headed the cross down into the path of Top, who finished from close range.
At the half-hour mark, Top looked top doubled his tally, but was denied by the post when he weaved through the Energy FC defense and rifled a shot from a tough angle. Energy FC responded in the later stages of the first half, but were denied by goalkeeper Evan Newton and an organized backline, who thwarted multiple opportunities.
Arizona United SC continued to assert its dominance after the halftime break and doubled its lead when a penalty was called in the 74th minute. Garza stepped up and slotted home his shot that hit the post and bounced in.
The goal sparked new life into the home side, which scored its first goal in the 77th minute on a quick counter attack. Javier Castro played Adda Djeziri into space and his shot hit a diving Newton, but found its way into the back of the net.
Energy FC held the majority of possession over the final ten minutes, but were denied by Newton who turned in one of his best performances for Arizona United SC.
Arizona United SC will now play host to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Peoria Sports Complex. Tickets start a $7 and are available at arizonaunited.com/tickets.
-Arizona United Soccer Club Match Report-
Match: Arizona United Soccer Club vs. OKC Energy FC
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Competition: USL PRO
Venue: Pribil Stadium
Kickoff: 5:00 PM PDT
Weather: Clear, and 88 degrees
|Arizona United Soccer Club||1||1||2|
|OKC Energy FC||0||1||1|
AZ – Jonathan Top (assist: Paolo DelPiccolo) – 4
AZ – Sam Garza (PK) – 74
OKC – Adda Djeziri (assist: Javier Castro) – 77
AZ – Jalen Robinson (Yellow) – 33
AZ – Brad Stisser (Yellow) – 34
OKC – Michael Thomas (Yellow) – 41
AZ – Sam Garza (Yellow) – 79
AZ – Paolo DelPiccolo (Yellow) – 85
AZ – Evan Newton (Yellow) – 87
Arizona United SC: Evan Newton, Jalen Robinson, Tyler Ruthven, London Woodberry, Scott Morrison, Paolo DelPiccolo, Joey Dillon, Matt Kassel (Sam Garza – 67), Brad Stisser (Jon Okafor – 56), Jonathan Top (Kadeem Dacres – 79), Long Tan
Did not play: Jacole Turner, Benji Lopez, Widner Saint-Cyr, Brandon Swartzendruber
OKC Energy FC: Samir Badr, Kyle Miller (Nathan Polak – 64), Gareth Evans, Cyprian Hedrick, Peabo Doue, Nathan Shiffman, Michael Thomas, Delgado (Steven Perry – 71), Abraham Villon (Jimmy Medranda – 45), Adda Djeziri (Paul Wyatt – 82), Kyle Greig (Javier Castro – 64)
Did not play: David Leichty, Ray Clark