OKLAHOMA CITY — Midland/Odessa Sockers FC made franchise history on Saturday afternoon as they claimed the Southern Conference Championship and advanced to the PDL National Semifinals on penalty kicks over the OKC Energy U23 at Taft Stadium.
The fourth match of the season between the two Mid South division rivals turned out to be the closest as 90 minutes of regulation and two 15 minute overtimes were not enough to determine a winner as the neither squad could find the back of the net. OKC looked to have scored the go-ahead goal in extra time, but it was waved off on an offsides call.
In the penalty kick shootout after Russ Klabough made a kick save on OKC’s first attempt by Noah Keats, Fernando Machado found the back of the net in the right corner to give the Sockers a 1-0 advantage.
The two sides traded saves until OKC tied it up at 1-1 when Ben Conway placed a ball into the left corner. Next up was Isaac Sanchez for the Sockers and the 2015 All-PDL selection went right and the ball was deflected up and good to give the Sockers a 2-1 lead.
Klabough then saved Chad Dennis’ attempt as Nenad Markovic looked to put the shootout away for the Sockers, but his shot sailed wide left. It would be Klabough again coming up with his fourth and final save as he went to the right to stop Garrett McLaughlin’s attempt.
The Sockers now await their national semifinal opponent as the four remaining teams will be seeded by regular-season point totals. That match will take place next week at a location and date yet to be determined.
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