TULSA – High 5!
Another late winner, another three points and FC Tulsa’s winning streak is alive and well after a 2-1 home victory over Indy Eleven on Wednesday night at ONEOK Field. Tonight’s winner came courtesy of forward Darío Suárez, who converted an 89′ minute penalty kick won by teammate Lucas Coutinho to snatch a fifth win “on the spin.”
In a season that’s been chock full of drama, it’s the third match-winning goal past the 84′ minute in the last month as FC Tulsa continues to inch closer to the top of the Central Division.
The same trends that brought FC Tulsa to a four-match winning streak – scoring the first goal and scoring multiple goals – continued in Wednesday’s match starting with Marlon’s opener off a cross from Jason Johnson. It was a cool finish from the Brazilian who didn’t miss from 10 yards out.
A dominant first half turned sour midway through the opening 45 minutes when FC Tulsa keeper Sean Lewis took a knock and was forced to the bench for Austin Wormell. Lewis had been an instrumental part of FC Tulsa’s four-match winning streak and hadn’t allowed a goal in Tulsa’s last 194 minutes.
As the soccer gods would have it, just minutes after having to make the change, Tulsa conceded as Indy equalized the match at 1-1. That was the final tally that Wormell would give up as the Tulsa native made four saves in the victory, including two highlight reel stops late in the match that kept it an equal scoreline.
In the 84′ minute, FC Tulsa head coach Michael Nsien sent in the substitution that eventually made the difference when he brought on midfielder Lucas Coutinho. Coutinho wasted little time making an impact, earning the penalty that Suárez converted.
FC Tulsa’s next match will be its biggest yet as a sixth win in a row on Saturday would leapfrog Tulsa over Birmingham Legion FC and into second place in the Central Division.
9′ TUL - Marlon Santos
34′ IND - Manuel Arteaga
89′ TUL - Darío Suárez (penalty)
MARLON NETS SEVENTH
Over the last month, Marlon has been red hot for FC Tulsa. Dating back to his match-winning goal on August 7 in FC Tulsa’s 3-1 win over Birmingham Legion FC, Marlon has scored four goals including two match winners. He’s the second FC Tulsa player with seven goals this season (Rodrigo da Costa has 8) and one of 25 players in the USL Championship to hit the mark.
FC Tulsa had to make a rare call to the bullpen early to bring on keeper Austin Wormell for Sean Lewis who appeared to take a knock midway through the first half. It was Wormell’s first appearance since July 29. Wormell made four saves in the 56 minutes he played.
SUÁREZ COMES THRU
Super Darío was dangerous all night, totaling six shots with four inside the box. The prolific forward had two clear-cut chances early in the match, but was stopped by the Indy keeper. Suárez kept knocking on the door and eventually tallied his seventh goal of the season.
SPREADING THE SCORING
FC Tulsa remains the only team in the USL Championship with four players to have at least five goals – da Costa (8), Suárez and Marlon (7) and Joaquín Rivas (5). With Suárez’s and Marlon’s goals tonight, FC Tulsa is also the only club with three players to have seven or more goals.
FROM THE SPOT
With Suárez’s penalty conversion, FC Tulsa is now 3-4 from the spot in 2021. Suárez is 2-2, Rivas is 1-1 and da Costa is 0-1.
CENTRAL DIVISION STANDINGS UPDATE
Team Matches Played Record (W-L-D) Points
Louisville City FC 22 13-5-4 43
Birmingham Legion FC 22 12-7-3 39
FC Tulsa 22 12-9-1 37
OKC Energy FC 23 7-8-8 29
Atlanta United 2 23 7-9-7 28
Indy Eleven 22 7-10-5 26
Memphis 901 FC 20 6-7-7 25
Sporting KC II 24 4-13-7 19
FC Tulsa will be right back on the ONEOK Field pitch on Saturday night against Birmingham Legion FC in match that will decide second place for the time being. A win would put FC Tulsa into second while a draw or loss would keep Birmingham there. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT.
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