FC Tulsa Draws Birmingham Legion FC 1-1
TULSA - A late goal again decided an FC Tulsa match, but on Saturday night at ONEOK Field, it didn't fall in Tulsa's favor as Birmingham Legion equalized in the 80' minute to earn a 1-1 draw and end Tulsa's five-match winning streak.
While it wasn't the full three points, FC Tulsa's draw extended its unbeaten streak to a season-best six matches and continued to create separation towards the top of the Central Division. Tulsa still trails Birmingham by two points for the coveted second place spot in the division that comes with a home playoff match. While the sides won't meet again in 2021, each still has nine matches left to play and everything is still to be decided.
The match started brightly for FC Tulsa, and just like in the previous five matches, FC Tulsa found the scoresheet first. Like he's done since joining FC Tulsa five weeks ago, forward Jason Johnson created the first goal of the match, getting free in the box during a cross. To prevent the wide open attempt, Birmingham defender Ryan James pulled down Johnson, making for a simple penalty call.
Suárez made no mistake on his second penalty of the week as he beat Birmingham keeper Trevor Spangenberg in the 29'. It marked the fifth match in the last that Suárez appeared on the scoresheet with a goal or an assist. From the spot, Suárez is automatic so far in 2021, converting all three opportunities he's taken.
FC Tulsa defended its net bravely throughout the next 50 minutes until second half substitute J.J. Williams equalized on a header that dinked off the far post and across the line.
It wasn't until the final kick of the match that FC Tulsa had a chance to take all three points. A corner kick in the waning seconds of stoppage time taken by Lebo Moloto found the head of Marlon, whose attempt skimmed over the top of the net.
29' TUL - Darío Suárez (penalty)
80' BHM - J.J. Williams (Mikey Lopez)
SUPER DARÍO AGAIN FROM THE SPOT
It was the second straight match that Darío Suárez stepped up to the penalty spot in a tie match, and for the second time, the Cuban dynamo converted. While the goal didn't come in the 89' minute like Wednesday's, it did continue the trend of Tulsa netting the first tally. It was Suárez's eighth goal of the season, matching his team leading tally in 2020.
DEFENSE COMES UP BIG
While Birmingham scored a late equalizer, FC Tulsa held the fort against a potent Birmingham attack. Legion FC put up 20 shots, however only four reached the target with the long equalizer going over the line.
MOLOTO MAKES MAGIC
Midfielder Lebo Moloto continued his creation in the midfield with five chances created, the most for any player on either team. Moloto nearly had an assist on his final touch of the match when his corner found the head of Marlon, but his shot skimmed the top of the net.
CENTRAL DIVISION STANDINGS UPDATE
Team Matches Played Record (W-L-D) Points
Louisville City FC 22 13-5-4 43
Birmingham Legion FC 23 12-7-4 40
FC Tulsa 23 12-9-2 38
Indy Eleven 23 8-10-5 29
OKC Energy FC 23 7-8-8 29
Atlanta United 2 23 7-9-7 28
Memphis 901 FC 21 6-8-7 25
Sporting KC II 25 4-14-7 19
FC Tulsa returns to ONEOK Field next Saturday to take on Austin Bold FC on 918 Day. It's the second out of four "non-division" matchups for FC Tulsa in 2021 as Austin is the Mountain Division of the Western Conference. Tulsa played Austin three times in 2020 and the sides drew all three times.
• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...
United Soccer League Championship Stories from September 11, 2021
- San Antonio FC Takes All Three Points After Shutout Victory at Real Monarchs SLC - San Antonio FC
- FC Tulsa Draws Birmingham Legion FC 1-1 - FC Tulsa
- RGV FC Draw 1-1 at Colorado - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
- Rowdies Unload for Six Goals on New York - Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Memphis 901 FC Fall to Miami FC - Memphis 901 FC
- Striker Gordon Wild's 77th Minute Tally Puts Indiana's Team Back in Playoff Position - Indy Eleven
- Francois Leads Miami to Victory in Memphis - Miami FC
- Goals Galore as Hounds Put Five Past Loudoun in Victory - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- Charlotte Gains 3 Big Points in Home Win over Hartford Athletic - Charlotte Independence
- Road Woes Continue in Loss to Charlotte - Hartford Athletic
- Kendall McIntosh Makes Six Saves as SKC II Falls 1-0 to Indy Eleven - Sporting Kansas City II
- Loudoun United FC Lose 5-0 on the Road to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC - Loudoun United FC
- First Career Start Latest Milestone in Wyatt Borso's Development - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- Oakland Roots vs. San Diego Loyal Match Notes - Oakland Roots
- New York Red Bulls Sign NYRB II Forward and Harrison Native Omar Sowe - New York Red Bulls II
- What to Watch for with LouCity at OKC Energy FC - Louisville City FC
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent FC Tulsa Stories
- Preview: FC Tulsa at San Antonio FC, Saturday, October 16, 7:30 p.m.
- FC Tulsa to Hold College Night at ONEOK Field on Wednesday, October 20
- OPSM Pro Combine Headed to Tulsa in December
- FC Tulsa Falls to El Paso
- Preview: FC Tulsa vs. El Paso Locomotive FC, Saturday, 7 p.m. CT, ONEOK Field