FC Tulsa Earn First Win of 2020 with 2-1 Victory at Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas - In what was a microcosm of 2020, FC Tulsa spent part of two days earning its first victory of the new era of the franchise, beating Rio Grande Valley FC 2-1 on Sunday morning to stay undefeated in 2020. The three points, sealed by a second half penalty from captain Ariel MartÃnez, vaulted Tulsa into USL Championship Playoffs position in second place of Group D.
It was a night beset by severe weather, first causing a 3-hour, 34-minute weather delay with kickoff coming at 11 p.m. CT and then another 1:15 delay towards the end of the first half. By the time the final whistle sounded and FC Tulsa celebrated, the clock read 2:32 a.m. Sunday morning. A victory worth waiting for.
FC Tulsa opened the scoring in the first half off a corner sent in by Lebo Moloto. Forward Marlon Santos pounced on the corner, rocketing the ball into the net and putting Tulsa in front. Following the second delay, RGVFC equalized from a corner of their own, as Robert Castellanos' header found the net behind FC Tulsa keeper Sean Lewis.
The night wasn't over though, as substitute Toby Uzo earned FC Tulsa a 74' penalty with a shot blocked by a RGV hand. MartÃnez stepped up coolly to the spot and slotted home the pen to mark the final tally of the match.
26' TUL - Marlon Santos
71' RGV - Robert Castellanos (Robert Coronado)
74' TUL - Ariel MartÃnez (penalty)
While the match was the first win of the FC Tulsa era, it also marks the best start in franchise history. Since 2015 when the franchise was founded as the then Tulsa Roughnecks, the club has never earned a three results or as many as 5 points through the teams' first three matches. With two draws and now a victory, FC Tulsa is beginning to turn over a new leaf for the franchise.
UP TO SECOND
The top two teams in each Group advance to the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs and FC Tulsa now sits in second place with tonight's victory. With 5 points in three matches, FC Tulsa sit behind San Antonio FC (10 pts in four), but ahead of OKC Energy (5 pts in five) due to having two matches in hand. The full standings can be found here.
RAIN ON PARADE
There Toros won't be on parade any time soon as FC Tulsa maintained it's unbeaten mark in Edinburg. It was the fifth meeting between the clubs at H-E-B Park and FC Tulsa has now won three and drawn two, never losing to RGV on their home pitch.
PUT 'EM ON THE BOARD
For the first time in 2020, someone other than Rodrigo da Costa found the net for FC Tulsa. Marlon Santos got on the board with his first of the year after scoring five goals in the final 10 matches of 2019. Then MartÃnez nabbed the match-winner with his first goal as a member of FC Tulsa.
LOCK DOWN D
For the third straight match to open up 2020, FC Tulsa allowed just one goal from its opponent. FC Tulsa is one of eight teams in the 35-team USL Championship to allow 1 or fewer goals in every match so far in 2020. The three total goals allowed is tied for second-best in the league.
FC Tulsa will stay on the road and play Saint Louis FC in an out-of-group match next Saturday at 7 p.m. The match will air on MyTV41 in Tulsa and stream digitally on ESPN+.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from August 2, 2020
- Hartford Dominates Loudoun, 4-1 - Hartford Athletic
- Athletic Look to Bounce Back from First Loss of 2020 - Hartford Athletic
- FC Tulsa Earn First Win of 2020 with 2-1 Victory at Rio Grande Valley FC - FC Tulsa
- Toros Fall to FC Tulsa at Home - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
- Sacramento Republic FC claim a point on the road after a scoreless draw against San Diego Loyal SC - Sacramento Republic FC
- Richards' goal leads Reno to win over Las Vegas - Reno 1868 FC
- Rising Wins, 3-1, Returns to Casino Arizona Field Next Saturday, August 8 - Phoenix Rising FC
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