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Energy FC: Jaime Chavez helps Greens to 3-1 win over Austin Bold with penalty kick

Jaime Chavez [ENERGY FC PHOTO]
Jaime Chavez [ENERGY FC PHOTO]

On his 33rd birthday, Energy FC forward Jaime Chavez chose his spot, and pushed a penalty kick past Austin Bold FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo in the 64th minute of Friday's match.

Chavez’ goal would put Oklahoma City ahead 2-1, and help the Greens earn their first win in 2020, as well as their first multiple score match of the season. A goal from OKC's Jose Hernandez four minutes into stoppage time would put the match out of reach for Austin at 3-1.

Despite Chavez sinking a go-ahead goal, Energy FC head coach John Pascarella said that any one of Chavez, Rafael Garcia and Frank Lopez could have taken the penalty kick had they all been on the field. By some birthday luck, Chavez was the only one of the trio on.

“All three of them have never missed a penalty,” Pascarella said. "If you had all three of them on the field at the same time, I think Rafa [Garcia] would probably take the first one — and that would simply be based on experience and seniority. All three of them I trust because all three of them have great, great history. With those three guys, the thinking that comes into it is it could be any one of them on any night and all three of them are very, very good and haven't missed in the last couple of years."

The win puts the Greens (1-1-1, four points) atop Group D in the USL Championship, which includes San Antonio, Austin Bold (1-1-0), FC Tulsa and Rio Grande Valley FC.

The victory also marks the first win for Pascarella with OKC.

There was a 128-day break in between Greens' first and second match of the season, and Pascarella was more than happy to get a win under his belt in OKlahoma City.

"I'm excited about it needless to say. I was 0-1 for probably the longest length of time of any coach in any sport in the world," he said laughing. "It was nice to get that first point at home and then the first win here on the road."

In the 30th minute, Energy FC forward Jonathan Brown shot down the left side of the field chasing a Jamie Chaves header. He tracked it down quickly, and delivered a bullet off his right foot that shot to the back-right corner of the goal to give the Greens their first lead.

Much like Monday’s match against Tulsa however, it didn’t take Oklahoma City’s opponent long to answer. Just four minutes later, Austin’s Sonny Guadarrama erased the deficit by slipping the ball by OKC goalkeeper C.J. Cochran.

Despite the Greens owning 52% of first-half possession, much of it on offense, they were outshot six to four.

Oklahoma City kept the pressure on in the second half, retaining possession and limiting Austin’s offense.

The Greens got their chance to shake the rust off earlier in the week versus FC Tulsa, but this was Austin's first match since March 7.

"We felt quite rusty last week when we played," Pascarella said. "It's the first time you're under pressure in a long time, it's your first time competing in a long time, it's all those things. They had to deal with that tonight and we didn't anymore. We were already past that first hurdle and onto the next one."

Eventually, Oklahoma City’s Zachary Ellis-Hayden was able to slip by an Austin defender, but was tripped inside the box. It would lead to Chavez’ winning penalty kick.

In the 78th minute, Austin made another offensive push, this time with Kleber Freitas. Cochran extended out wide and sent the attempt away, dispelling one of the final pushes from the home team.

The Greens now have four straight home games to look forward to, starting with Rio Grande Valley FC on Wednesday.

Derek Parker

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