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Oklahoma City Energy FC: Police escort officials off field after Energy, Arizona soccer game

Referee Leland Grant blew the final whistle in the 92nd minute. Players from both soccer teams rushed toward Grant demanding an answer why the game was stopped when they apparently thought five mintues of extra time remained.
by Chris Brannick Published: July 17, 2014
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photo - A member of the Oklahoma City Police Department, front right, escorts referee Leland Grant, front left, off the field following Thursday's 1-1 draw between Energy FC and Arizona United at Pribil Stadium. Photo by Steven Christy/Oklahoma City FC
A member of the Oklahoma City Police Department, front right, escorts referee Leland Grant, front left, off the field following Thursday's 1-1 draw between Energy FC and Arizona United at Pribil Stadium. Photo by Steven Christy/Oklahoma City FC

Oklahoma City Police escorted game officials off the field following Energy FC’s 1-1 draw with Arizona United on Thursday night at Pribil Stadium.

Referee Leland Grant blew the final whistle in the 92nd minute. Players from both soccer teams rushed toward Grant demanding an answer why the game was stopped when they apparently thought five mintues of extra time remained. Grant continued to wave his hands, signaling the end of the game.

Police on the sideline came to the rescue, leading officials to their locker room and leaving players and 2,813 fans to only guess what happened.

Game officials were not available for comment after the game. Energy FC assistant general manager Sandy Richardson said, “No one is allowed to approach an official after the match.”

Oklahoma City coach Jimmy Nielsen said: “I’ve been in this game for a long time, and I have not experienced anything like that. The fourth official was telling us there were seven (added extra time) minutes to the end of the game... why he (Grant) blew the whistle, it’s only him who can answer that question.”

The confusion started after two whistles against Arizona on attempted corner kicks for Energy FC.

The first corner was blown dead before it even started because an Arizona player pulled down an Energy player. The second corner from midfielder Michael Thomas resulted in a Mark Howard goal, but the referee blew it dead as once again as an Arizona player pulled down an Energy player, resulting in another penalty kick for Energy FC.

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by Chris Brannick
Copy Editor, OKC Energy FC Reporter
Chris Brannick is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, where he served as Sports Editor of The Vista, UCO's student newspaper. Originally from Utica, N.Y., he graduated from Sallisaw High School in 2003.
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