NORMAN — Oklahoma City Energy FC won its first game in franchise history with a 1-0 defeat of Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday night at Norman North High School.
A crowd of a few hundred braved the near-freezing temperatures to watch the inaugural game. Those who stuck it out the longest got to see Paul Wyatt score on a header in the 85th minute to give Oklahoma City the 1-0 win.
Energy FC coach Jimmy Nielsen said it was nice to get out with a win. The coach was impressed with his team’s performance but said there’s still a lot of work to do.
“In parts of the game I was not too happy with the game,” Nielsen said. “We talked about before the game we had to keep the ball and we did OK with that but it has to be more pass and move, pass and move. But, overall it was good.”
Nebraska-Omaha, who plays Division I, played a tough game but could never crack Oklahoma City’s defense. Midfielder Steven Perry missed a shot in the 85th minute, but Wyatt charged the net and headed in the game-winning score. Wyatt called the shot luck.
“First off it was great work by Perry. It hit the bar and as it was falling down all I thought was I got to get something on it and I just threw my head at it,” Wyatt said. “It’s nice to come on and get the goal but ultimately it’s about the win.”
Samir Badr started in goal for Oklahoma City. He recorded two saves in the first half before subs came in at the 60th minute. Ray Clark took the net for Energy FC and only needed one stop from Nebraska-Omaha’s offense.
“I think they both played with good confidence,” Nielsen said. “Samir is good on his feet and calm with the ball. Both of them have done an amazing job in the last couple of weeks.”
The Mavericks played far more defense in the first half than the second. But stops from two Kyle Miller shots kept Oklahoma City scoreless. Midfielder Michael Thomas sailed an aggressive shot from 20 yards out high.
Oklahoma City heads to Tulsa on Wednesday to take on Oral Roberts at 6 p.m. Energy FC returns home for a match with Northeastern next Friday in Edmond.