USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Saturday, March 12, 2016
OWASSO, Okla. – Tulsa Roughnecks FC got two late goals from Kaleemullah to earn a 2-2 draw with Oklahoma Wesleyan University in a preseason scrimmage on Saturday night.
The Pakistan National Team’s captain scored from a free kick 25 yards out in the 90th minute, and then converted a penalty kick moments later to earn his side a draw after the Eagles had sprung out to a surprise early lead.
The Eagles struck first in just the fifth minute when Tulsa's defense was beaten and allowed an OWU forward to chip home a finish that left goalkeeper Alex Mangels little chance to save. Oklahoma Wesleyan struck again 11 minutes before halftime as it caught the Roughnecks on the counter-attack and left Mangels in a one-on-one that the attacker calmly converted.
“The first 10 minutes, we were not in the game,” said Roughnecks Coach David Irving. “I think we were still doing the clinic. But after that, we pretty much controlled things and missed a lot of chances.”
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The second half saw the Eagles sit back and try to defend their lead, as Cristian Mata tried to lead the Roughnecks back into the game. The former University of Tulsa standout set up a good chance for Sammy Ochoa eight minutes after the break, and then had a shot himself a minute later, but both efforts were saved.
Taylor Morgan also had an impact for the Roughnecks after being brought on around the hour-mark. Morgan hit the post, and trialist Carlos Contreras had his rebound effort cleared off the line, with 10 minutes to go.
Tulsa was rewarded for its pressure in the final minute when it was awarded a free kick that Kaleemullah curled into the top-corner of the net to halve the Roughnecks’ deficit. Just over a minute later, Morgan was pulled down as the Roughnecks delivered a free kick into the penalty area, and the referee pointed to the spot. Kaleemullah sent his shot low to the right corner on what proved to be the final kick of the game to make it 2-2.
The Roughnecks were taking part in Owasso Soccer Day, presented by HillCrest Heathcare System. Prior to the game, the team’s players participated in a youth soccer clinic, as a large turnout greeted the team.“We are still missing a couple of players, and we are thin at the back. But, that is what preseason is all about,” Irving said. “It was a good experience coming up here to Owasso, and it was a great crowd. We had a good time, and it was certainly an exciting finish to the match.”