Despite Brian Brown Opening the Scoring, FC Tulsa Drops Three Points at LouCity
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Despite a new Starting XI formation and a first half lead, FC Tulsa conceded three second half goals to Louisville City FC to fall 4-1 on Saturday afternoon in Louisville. It marks the sixth-consecutive road defeat to start the 2022 season for FC Tulsa and the third of those where Tulsa has scored the first goal.
The first 30 minutes of the match was action-packed as both sides had several chances to score the opener. Sean Lewis made two key saves from Louisville chances, while JJ Williams had a chipped shot saved by the Louisville keeper.
FC Tulsa finally drew first blood in the 34′ minute when Lewis, Williams and Brian Brown combined for a spectacular direct goal. A free kick taken inside his own box by Lewis was booted 70 yards, right onto the head of JJ Williams who flicked it to an on-rushing Brown. Brown made no mistake on his shot, beating LouCity keeper Kyle Morton just inside the left post.
It’s Brown’s second consecutive goal and second of the season for Tulsa after scoring on the final touch of FC Tulsa’s 5-1 road loss in Orange County in their most recent match two weekends ago.
Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last until the halftime break as a foul in the box committed by Tulsa in first half stoppage time resulted in a converted Louisville City forward Cameron Lancaster. Lewis nearly saved the PK, diving the right way, but the ball snuck under his hand to level the match.
The second half started like the first half ended, with Lancaster finding the back of the net. This time it was in the run of play as Lancaster finished off a cross from Amadou Dia to secure the brace in the 53′ minute. The goals mark the sixth and seventh by Lancaster against Tulsa in five matches since the start of 2021.
Louisville added a third midway through the second half in the 65′ minute. Lewis made a fantastic point blank save on a Jorge Gonzalez shot, but the ball caromed off FC Tulsa right back Abuchi Obinwa and into the FC Tulsa net.
Tulsa nearly got some luck of its own a few minutes later when a Gabi Torres cross found its way through everyone and looked destined for the net. But despite the ball hitting the inside of the post, it bounced straight back to the Louisville keeper to leave the scoreline at 3-1.
LouCity added a final goal in second half stoppage time from the boot of Wilson Harris to make the final 4-1 in favor of the two-time USL Championship title winners.
Here are three takeaways from the loss.
1) NEW LOOK XI
Head coach Michael Nsien made a major change to his starting formation for today’s match, rolling out a 3-4-3 formation for the first time in the FC Tulsa-era of the club. The move allowed Nsien to include all four of the team’s fullbacks in the XI – Jorge Corrales and Gabi Torres on the left with Bradley Bourgeois and Abuchi Obinwa on the right. A 3-4-3 also allows Tulsa to play with five defenders when the opponent has the ball.
2) LOST LEADS ON THE ROAD
Tonight’s loss marked the third road match out of six this season that FC Tulsa has scored first but failed to secure a result. Against Sacramento Republic FC, El Paso Locomotive FC and now Louisville City FC, FC Tulsa scored in the first half to take a 1-0 lead, but were not able to get to halftime with the lead in any of the three matches. FC Tulsa is now 0-6-0 on the road in 2022 and is still searching for its first road point.
3) BROWN & WILLIAMS
For the first time in 2022, both Tulsa center forwards Brian Brown and JJ Williams were in the Starting XI together. It meant that Williams slid over to the left wing with Brown in the center of a front three. The move paid dividends as the pair combined for Tulsa’s lone goal on the afternoon. For Williams, he now has five goals and two assists in 2022, directly contributing to 39% of the team’s goals this year. Brown has two goals and one assist.
FC Tulsa will have a tight turnaround with a two-match homestand next week at ONEOK Field. On Wednesday night, FC Tulsa will host Tampa Bay Rowdies at ONEOK Field, looking to reverse the result of the team’s last meeting on April 16, a 3-1 loss in St. Petersburg, Fla. The match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. CT.