FC Tulsa Streaks Past Saint Louis with 2-0 Road Victory
FENTON, Mo. - And the STILL undefeated FC Tulsa....
No, it's not just a Michael Buffer quote. Two goals, three points, one win on Saturday night at Saint Louis leaves FC Tulsa as one of just four unbeaten teams left in the USL Championship and securely in playoff position in Group D.
An opening 25-yard screamer from Eric Bird paired with a silencer from Dario Suarez in stoppage time were all FC Tulsa needed to snag the first win in the Gateway City in franchise history, 2-0. It was just Saint Louis FC's fourth loss at home in its last 21 matches.
In what was an early-season prize fight between two clubs in playoff position in their respective groups, FC Tulsa came out of the gate with the momentum, and it ultimately culminated in a wonder strike from the midfielder Bird just before halftime, going into the dressing room up 1-0.
The second half flipped the script as Saint Louis poured on the attack, and FC Tulsa dug its heels into the ground. The defense held long enough for super-sub DarÃ® - o SuÃ¡rez to double the lead in stoppage time. On his 28th birthday, SuÃ¡rez found the net just five minutes after hitting the post to seal the deal and keep FC Tulsa unbeaten.
43' TUL - Eric Bird (Ariel MartÃ® - nez)
90'+1 TUL - DarÃ® - o SuÃ¡rez (Cristhian Altamirano)
FOUR ROAD MATCHES, FOUR RESULTS
It was a daunting task when FC Tulsa saw its 2020 restart schedule and saw all road matches into mid-August. It didn't matter. With two wins and two draws, FC Tulsa rolls into first home match
PLAYOFF GAP WIDENS
Three more points in the bank have FC Tulsa solidly in second in playoff position in Group D. A date with first-place San Antonio FC awaits in FC Tulsa's home opener on Wednesday, but for now FC Tulsa can take solace in the table and its results. San Antonio sits at 13 points in first with Tulsa in second at 8 (and a match in hand). Austin Bold FC, OKC Energy FC and Rio Grande Valley FC all sit below the playoff line. The full standings can be found here.
With the goals, both Bird and SuÃ¡rez found the scoresheet for the first time in their short FC Tulsa careers. For Bird, it's the 14th USL Championship goal of his six-year career and first since September 22, 2019. SuÃ¡rez has been a bit more prolific in his career but celebrated his 28th birthday in style with his first official tally for Tulsa.
DEFENSE PITCHES SHUTOUT
Another first for the FC Tulsa era was accomplished on Saturday night: the first clean sheet. Starting keeper Sean Lewis has been tremendous in the first four matches of 2020, allowing just three goals and never more than one in any match. He now has a clean sheet to his name as he and the FC Tulsa D kept all 13 Saint Louis shots out of the net.
Head Coach Michael Nsien revealed after the match that he targeted eight points out of the team's first five matches in 2020, all on the road, before the home opener on Wednesday, August 12. The five-match roadtrip turned into a four-matcher after a postponement against Austin Bold FC a few weeks ago. With one fewer match played, Coach Nsien's squad comes back to Tulsa with eight points in hand.
Now, FC Tulsa makes its new-era debut at ONEOK Field at long last. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday night in the Greenwood District, the referee will blow his whistle and kick off the franchise's future in T-town. It'll be historic, electric, socially-distant and most importantly, fun. Tickets are available now at FCTulsa.com/tickets. We'll see you there. The match will air on MyTV41 in Tulsa and stream digitally on ESPN+.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from August 8, 2020
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- STLFC Falls 2-0 to FC Tulsa - Saint Louis FC
- Tyler Pasher Scores Once Again to Help Eleven Earn Road Point off Rivals - Indy Eleven
- FC Tulsa Streaks Past Saint Louis with 2-0 Road Victory - FC Tulsa
- Toros Fall 4-1 in Austin - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
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- LouCity, Indy Eleven Even After First LIPAFC Meeting in 2020 - Louisville City FC
- Hounds Earn Home Victory against New York, 4-1 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- San Antonio FC Earns Emphatic Road Win in OKC - San Antonio FC
- Battery Earn 1 Point in Draw with Charlotte - Charleston Battery
- Greens Fall to San Antonio, 0-3 - OKC Energy FC
- Atlanta United 2 Falls 1-0 against Birmingham Legion FC - Atlanta United 2
- San Diego Loyal SC Match vs. Las Vegas Lights FC Postponed - San Diego Loyal
- North Carolina FC Moves into Second Place in Group G with Win over Memphis 901 FC - North Carolina FC
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- STLvTUL: Match Preview - Saint Louis FC
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