FC Tulsa’s Focus Shifts on Saturday’s Home Opener
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A night in which FC Tulsa controlled 62% of the possession, scored two worldies, and battled back from an opening deficit to take the lead ended bitterly on Friday as a 90+2′ minute concession saw any potential points erased in the dying moments of the match. Despite the result, this new unit led by Blair Gavin once again showed tremendous ability and improvement in a short period as the squad continues to build its chemistry and adapt to its new play style.
Legion FC opened the scoring in the 4′ minute when the ever-dangerous Tyler Pasher found a crease through the heart of Tulsa’s backline and split the defense. Goalkeeper Michael Nelson abandoned his net in an effort to beat Pasher to the through ball, but the Birmingham forward arrived first and directed his shot into the back of an empty goal.
FC Tulsa responded well by controlling 71% of the possession over the first 20 minutes as Marcus Epps and Rodrigo da Costa repeatedly threatened down the left wing, but the final touch was lacking and the 1-0 deficit remained.
Moses Dyer nearly bagged the first goal of his FC Tulsa career in the 27′ minute when a cross off the boot of da Costa was parried away by Birmingham’s keeper right into the forehead of Tulsa’s striker. Unfortunately, the point-blank nature of Dyer’s header created a rather acute angle and made for an easy save. Four minutes later, Dyer and Milo Yosef nearly combined for the club’s opening goal but the luck typically associated with St. Patrick’s Day continued to evade FC Tulsa in favor of the opposition.
Tulsa finally broke through in the 49′ minute by way of a Rodrigo da Costa dandy. Blaine Ferry fed the Brazilian the ball with little room to maneuver, but da Costa magically backheeled it to himself, spun around through three defenders, and rifled his shot past the keeper to level things at one apiece.
Only five minutes later, Collin Fernandez laid a ball into the path of Epps just outside the 18-yard box and the forward made no mistake, blistering the ball into the top bin and leaving the Birmingham keeper shaking his head. The highlight-reel finish established a 2-1 lead that marked FC Tulsa’s first of the young season.
The stomachs of FC Tulsa fans everywhere sank in the 83′ minute when Pasher leveled the score for the hosts, followed by a second Legion FC goal courtesy of the substitute Neco Brett who found the winner in the 90+2′ minute.
A back-and-forth affair in which FC Tulsa likely deserved a better result concluded with a 3-2 final scoreline as the club gears up for its home opener next Saturday, March 25.
FC Tulsa returns to Northeast Oklahoma for its Home Opener next Saturday, March 25 to take on Loudoun United FC. The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a 2023 schedule magnet and the season’s first fireworks show will follow the final whistle. Tickets to the match can be purchased here.