MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The weather in Memphis matched the result for FC Tulsa lost 3-2 to 901 FC in its final regular season road match of 2021 on Wednesday night. Less than a minute after equalizing the match midway through the second half thanks to a Memphis own goal, Tulsa allowed the match-winner, locking it into the No. 4 spot in the Central Division.
A rainy night actually started brightly for Tulsa as left back Jorge Corrales earned a penalty inside the opening 10 minutes of the match as he raced past the defense into the left side of the 18-yard box and was tackled. With typical penalty taker Darío Suárez on the bench as a substitute, Marlon stepped up for his first penalty try of his FC Tulsa career. The dynamic Brazilian winger made the most of it, coolly slotting it home.
The Tulsa lead didn’t last long however, as Memphis hit back midway through the opening half. A clearance from Corrales unluckily fell straight to Memphis’ Roland Lamah. Lamah found Andre Fortune who beat Austin Wormell at the far post. Just nine minutes later, Memphis found a second that looked nearly identical to the first as captain Mark Segbers sent 901 FC in front.
Despite allowing three goals, FC Tulsa keeper Austin Wormell kept the match competitive with eight saves, a season-high for any Tulsa keeper in a match.
Those saves paid off when FC Tulsa equalized at 2-2 through an own goal created by Suárez. The Cuban’s bending shot was knocked in by Memphis, but 901 FC bounced back immediately. Less than a minute later, Memphis ace Kyle Murphy netted his 19th of the season to restore 901 FC’s one-goal lead at 3-2.
That was how it finished as FC Tulsa missed its chance to improve its playoff seed and is now locked into the No. 4 seed in the Central Division.
8′ TUL - Marlon (penalty)
24′ MEM - Andre Fortune (Roland Lamah)
33′ MEM - Mark Segbers
74′ TUL - Niall Logue (own goal)
75′ MEM - Kyle Murphy (Mark Segbers)
FOURTH SEED With the defeat, FC Tulsa now knows it will be headed to South Florida as the No. 4 seed to take on the No. 1 seeded Tampa Bay Rowdies, owners of the Eastern Conference’s best regular season record. Tulsa and Tampa Bay haven’t previously met in the USL Championship, but the Tulsa Roughnecks and Tampa Bay Rowdies were old NASL rivals in the 1970′s and 80′s. The Roughnecks and Rowdies met 13 times between 1978-1984 with the Roughnecks leading that series 7-6.
8 IN 8′ In the 8′ minute, Marlon became the third FC Tulsa player to convert a penalty kick this season. It was his 8th goal of the season, which extends his season-high. The goal tied the second-quickest of the season for FC Tulsa. Marlon also owns the quickest goal, scoring in the 6′ minute in a 3-2 win over Louisville on July 10.
STANDING ON HIS HEAD Goalkeeper Austin Wormell kept Tulsa in the match throughout the 90 minutes with his season-high eight saves. It topped the previous high of seven made by Sean Lewis in Tulsa’s 2-1 win over Birmingham Legion FC on August 22.
FC Tulsa will play its final regular season match of 2021 on Saturday at home against OKC Energy FC. The Wrench will be on the line for the Black Gold Derby as FC Tulsa can clinch a second consecutive state title with a win or a draw. Fans are encouraged to wear black for a Blackout night for the Black Gold Derby. Kickoff for the season finale at ONEOK Field will be at 7 p.m. CT.
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