Rio Grande Valley leapfrogged Energy FC in the Western Conference standings with a road victory at Taft Stadium. The hosts nearly took the lead through a bit of luck in the 22nd minute as Omar Gordon’s off-target shot struck Christian Eissele and the OKC forward was able to get the ball out of his feet quickly for a second effort that just slid wide of the post. RGVFC goalkeeper Ben Willis was called into action moments later as OKC moved forward again with Cordell Cato sliding a through ball to Deshorn Brown, who tried to pick out the bottom-right corner with the outside of his right boot, but Willis extended well to make the stop. Eissele fired just over with dipping volley from the edge of the box on the half-hour mark and Callum Ross struck the left post with a powerful effort from 25 yards out on the stroke of halftime as Energy FC continued to press for an opener.
The hosts looked like they were going to finally get that first goal in the 66th minute when Brown set up Cato in the center of the box, but Willis made himself big and kept the ball out of the net with an outstretched leg. OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi remained alert at the other end three minutes later when he made a diving stop at his near post to deny Deshane Beckford’s right-footed shot from the left side of the box, but RGVFC opened the scoring from the resulting corner kick as Connor Donovan headed Isidro Martinez’s delivery into the bottom-right corner. The visitors extended their lead from the penalty spot 78th minute as Carlos Small sent Laurendi the wrong way after Atiba Harris had fouled Juan Carlos Obregón Jr. in the box. Willis made one more save to deny Brown in stoppage time as the visitors held on for a clean sheet and all three points.
RGV FC returns to H-E-B Park on Friday, October 18 as they face off the Portland Timbers 2 to conclude the 2019 USL Championship season. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. CT.