FRESNO, Calif. - There was an electric buzz inside Chukchansi Park on Saturday night, as Fresno FC defeated Tulsa Roughnecks FC 3-1 to remain unbeaten to start the 2019 USL Championship season, despite three light towers going out and causing a 15-minute delay midway through the second half.
The delay didn't slow down Los Zorros, who went on to pick up their first three points at home in front of a crowd of 4,348 on Ag Night.
Midfielder Jemal Johnson opened the scoring at the 33rd minute when captain Juan Pablo Caffa laid off a pass for JJ just above the half moon. Johnson curled in his shot into the far corner of the net for his first goal of 2019. But six minutes later, Tulsa equalized when Janú Silva headed a Cristian Altamirano pass back across goal to send the game level into halftime.
However, Los Zorros weren't finished as forward Jaime Chavez scored his first goal as a Fresno Fox at the 55th minute, heading in a cross from Jackson to regain the lead. Not less than two minutes later, the lights went out, leading the fans to light up the stadium with their phones. After the delay, Johnson immediately continued the onslaught, scoring his second of the night two minutes into the restart on a corner kick.
Earning his first start of 2019 was defender and Fresno native Elijah Martin, who started at right back for an injured Zachary Ellis-Hayden (right calf strain). Goalkeeper CJ Cochran had 3 saves and center back Mickey Daly had 3 clearances and 2 blocks to help Los Zorros remain unbeaten.
Fresno FC remains at home for its next match, playing host to Orange County SC on Friday, April 26th. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Chukchansi Park. It's the first of three Flashback Fuego Fridays, where the club will wear its Fuego red kits and fans can enjoy $2 Tecate tall cans up until the 70th minute. Tickets are available at FresnoFC.com or by calling 559-320-2525.
Johnson scored his first two goals of 2019 and created one chance for his side while also winning three of four duels in the win.
Fresno FC 3, Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1
FRS - Jemal Johnson (Caffa) 33'
TUL - Janú Silva (Cristian Altamirano) 39'
FRS - Jaime Chavez (Jackson) 55'
FRS - Jemal Johnson 59'
FRS - Emir Alihodzic 31' foul
TUL - Rodrigo da Costa 49' foul
TUL - Fredlin Mompremier 65' foul
TUL - Fabian Bastidas 69' foul
FRS - Jaime Chavez 72' foul
LINEUPS: FRS: GK CJ Cochran, D Elijah Martin, D Mickey Daly, D Ramon Martin Del Campo, M Jemal Johnson (Renato 83'), M Emir Alihodzic, M Arun Basuljevic, M Jackson, F Juan Pablo Caffa (Hiroki Kurimoto 90'), F Jaime Chavez (Christian Chaney 75'). TUL: GK Mason Satjduhar, D Fredlin Mompremier (Moses Makinde 69'), D Mallan Roberts, D Luca Lobo, D Cyprian Hedrick, M Fabian Bastidas (AJ Ajeakwa 76'), M Brayan Reyes, M Jeff Addai, M Cristhian Altamirano (65 Tobenna Uzo), F Rodrigo da Costa, F Janu Silva.