CJ Cochran stopped two consecutive shots in penalty kicks to send OKC Energy FC past the Premier Development League’s Mississippi Brilla FC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night at Traceway Park.
After 18 consecutive penalty kicks were made by Brilla FC and Energy FC shooters, Cochran made a diving save on a kick to the lower-left corner by Adam Butler to give OKC a chance to win on the following attempt. On the ensuing kick, Brilla FC keeper Brendan Ledgeway dived to the lower-right corner of the net and knocked away Michael Harris’s clinching attempt. On the next kick, Cochran denied Brilla FC’s Jake McCain, and then netted a penalty kick of his own for the OKC victory.
OKC held a significant advantage in ball possession throughout the match, providing several chances to break through against the PDL side, but couldn’t find the back of the net in regulation, despite holding a 25-6 shot advantage. Energy FC’s best chance though came in the 51st minute when Danni König received a pass from Jose Cuevas in the Brilla FC box but volleyed the shot over the crossbar.
The win over Brilla FC marks OKC’s fourth all-time U.S. Open Cup win, with one victory in 2014 and two in 2015. With the win, Energy FC advances in the open tournament and will face the North American Soccer League’s Rayo OKC on June 1.
Wednesday’s match in Clinton, Miss. was the first of a string of three matches in seven days for Energy FC, who, with a match last Sunday, will play four matches in 10 days.
Energy FC next travels to San Antonio, Texas for a rematch of last Sunday’s match, taking on San Antonio FC in a 7:30 p.m. start Saturday, May 21, at Toyota Field. The match will mark OKC’s first-ever trip to San Antonio.
Following the trip to San Antonio, Energy FC returns home for a 7 p.m. match Tuesday against the visiting Real Monarchs SLC at Taft Stadium.