FC Tulsa Earns Dramatic 1-1 Draw at Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO - The FC Tulsa era of pro soccer in T-town is off to a dramatic start after a 79' minute equalizer from midfielder Rodrigo da Costa earned FC Tulsa a crucial road point against heavy favorites Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night on the West Coast. After trailing for the bulk of the match, and absorbing heavy pressure from Republic FC, FC Tulsa midfielders Lebo Moloto and Rodrigo da Costa combined for a magical goal. Moloto slipped a through ball around multiple defenders directly to the feet of da Costa, who nutmegged the keeper to give FC Tulsa its first tally in the new era of the franchise.
Attached are final stats from the match and quotes from FC Tulsa head coach Michael Nsien, keeper Sean Lewis and midfielder Rodrigo da Costa. Below are a few notes from the match.
HIGHLIGHTS (Download Here) https://www.dropbox.com/s/1cwnf0w2snzi8rz/HIGHLIGHTS%20%23SACvTUL%20_%2003-07-2020.mp4?dl=0
42' SAC - Drew Skundrich (Juan Barahona)
79' TUL - Rodrigo da Costa (Lebo Moloto)
RESILIENCE FOR A RESULT
Rodrigo da Costa's goal solidified what was a gutsy performance by FC Tulsa against one of the favorites to win the Western Conference. Despite getting outshot 16-4, FC Tulsa earned just its second result in club history against Sacramento. The never-say-die mentality that head coach Michael Nsien has been preaching to the players took effect when it mattered on Saturday.
LEWIS TO THE RESCUE
FC Tulsa's man in net was stellar on the evening, making seven saves to keep Tulsa in the match. The phenomenal double save in the third minute to deny Sac Republic an early opener will surely have potential for the USL Championship Save of the Week, and his distribution and decision-making stood out behind a compact defense. The seven saves are the second-most for any keeper so far in USL Championship matches during opening weekend.
DA COSTA PICKS RIGHT UP
Rodrigo da Costa led the then-Tulsa Roughnecks in 2019 in both goals and assists, with nine and 13 respectively, en route to an All-USL Championship Second Team selection. He's already opened up his account in 2020 with his goal tonight, a tidy finish through the legs of Adam Grinwis. A second All-League season, and possibly more, could be in store for the star Brazilian midfielder.
STILL SYNCING UP
After an off-season filled with transformation, a six-match preseason gauntlet and now the USL Championship season opener, FC Tulsa has seen a lot of change. Aside from the club's physical and cultural rebrand, the 24-man squad returns just 10 players from 2019, and the season opening Starting XI featured six newcomers among five returners. It's apparent that FC Tulsa is a team still finding its chemistry as it begins the 2020 campaign, but a come-from-behind result at Sacramento Republic FC is certainly a promising start.
FC Tulsa will now return to T-town and ONEOK Field for a three-match in eight-day homestand in front of its fans. The home opener will kickoff at 7 p.m. next Saturday against New Mexico United FC. Last season, FC Tulsa beat New Mexico on a stunning last-second goal at ONEOK Field by a score of 2-1.
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