TULSA – Wrench: Clinched. Magic Number: One.
Two dramatic goals from little-used substitute Toby Uzo in the final 10 minutes turned a one-goal deficit into a 3-2 FC Tulsa victory over OKC Energy FC on Wednesday night at ONEOK Field.
Not only did the comeback win secure the Wrench for FC Tulsa over their cross-state rival, it brought FC Tulsa onto the doorstep of the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs. FC Tulsa’s win, combined with Austin Bold FC surprising 2-0 loss over previously winless Rio Grande Valley FC, means FC Tulsa can snag the second playoff spot with a win or draw in Saturday’s home finale.
The sides traded goals early as OKC Energy FC opened the scoring in the 12′ minute through a breakaway goal before FC Tulsa equalized in the 15′ minute off the head of winger Marlon. OKC grabbed its lead back 57′ minute off an electric 20-yard goal from Tucker Stephenson that bounced off the far post and into the net.
In the 77′ minute water break, the match turned on its head when Tulsa head coach Michael Nsien brought on two subs - Cristhian Altamirano and Toby Uzo.
The pair made an immediate impact as Altamirano found Uzo in the 79′ minute on a cross that Uzo redirected into the net. Less than 10 minutes later, the subs linked up again as Altamirano picked out Uzo at the top of the box. The powerful forward headed it home in the 88′ minute to give FC Tulsa its second consecutive dramatic home win.
Attached are final stats and quotes from head coach Michael Nsien, forward Toby Uzo and defender Bradley Bourgeois. Below are a few notes from the match
12′ OKC - Cordell Cato (Rafael Garcia)
15′ TUL - Marlon (Matt Sheldon)
57′ OKC - Tucker Stephenson (Jose Hernandez)
79′ TUL - Toby Uzo (Cristhian Altamirano)
88′ TUL - Toby Uzo (Cristhian Altamirano)
MAGIC NUMBER DOWN TO ONE
FC Tulsa’s three points combined with Austin Bold FC’s loss means Tulsa’s playoff magic number sits at one. One point in either its regular season finale at home on Saturday against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC or its if necessary match against Rio Grande Valley FC.
SIX-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK When FC Tulsa has needed points, it has delivered. The club is riding a six-match unbeaten streak, consisting of three wins and three draws, with 12 points earned. It matches the longest winning streak in club history after Tulsa opened the 2020 season with six consecutive results.
UZO COMES THROUGH
Going into the match, Toby Uzo had played just 86 minutes in 2020 in six substitute appearances. He had totaled just four shots and had yet to make the scoresheet. That all changed in the final 12 minutes of the match as he scored twice to give FC Tulsa the win. He scored five goals with the Tulsa Roughnecks in 2019, including a goal that won the USL Championship’s Goal of the Year.
THE WRENCH COMES TO TULSA
After winning the Wrench just once in its 5-year rivalry with OKC Energy as the Tulsa Roughnecks, FC Tulsa claimed it on its first try in the new era. The Wrench was painted gold as the Tulsa players raised the trophy.
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