MT. PLEASANT, SC – A first goal allowed in the first half and a questionable refereeing decision in the second brought down FC Tulsa on Saturday night in their season opener against the Charleston Battery 1-0. Augustine Williams scored the only tally for Charleston at minute 10′ and any hope of a Tulsa rally was snuffed out when Tulsa’s Rodrigo da Costa received a second yellow for a called foul where almost no contact was made .
It was a very unusual weather night in Charleston, bringing gusty winds and temperatures into the 40s for the East Coast kickoff. FC Tulsa played against the wind in the first half and were hit early on a Charleston counterattack.
At minute 10′, the battery came loose on a 2-on-1 and capitalized as Williams netted their home chance against FC Tulsa goalkeeper Sean Lewis. That score held until the break as Tulsa entered the locker room with a goal.
Disaster struck early in the second half. In the 56′ minute, da Costa and former teammate Matt Sheldon went up for a 50/50 ball. Already on a yellow card, da Costa avoided contact as Sheldon jumped behind him. Unfortunately for Tulsa, the referee questionably interpreted the contact as coming from da Costa, and the Brazilian was given a second yellow and was ejected from the game.
Trailing by a man for over 30 minutes, FC Tulsa continued to search for an equalizer and actually controlled more chances in the final third of the game. However, the goal never came and FC Tulsa dropped their season opener for the first time since 2018.
10′ CHS – Augustine Williams (Aiden Apodaca)
As it stands, Rodrigo da Costa will miss FC Tulsa’s home opener due to the two yellows (and subsequent red) shown to him by the referee. Due to the questionable nature of the appeal, FC Tulsa can appeal the decision and if successful, it would allow da Costa to play next Saturday.
Seven different players made their FC Tulsa debuts on Saturday night in Charleston as Brian Brown, JJ Williams, Machuca, Petar Čuić, Gabi Torres, Ronald Rodríguez and Adriàn Diz Pe all earned their first appearance in the Tulsa gold.
CONTROL THE MATCH
Despite playing over a third of the game against a man, FC Tulsa controlled most aspects of the game off the scoreboard. Tulsa possessed a 62% to 38% advantage in possession while beating Charleston 17-9. The Tulsa defense limited the Battery to a single shot on target, the goal scored in the 10′ minute. Ultimately, the stats weren’t enough for Tulsa to walk away with a win.
FC Tulsa returns to Tulsa for its 2022 home opener next Saturday night at ONEOK Field where a large crowd is expected. Birmingham Legion will come to town, a team that FC Tulsa played twice at Tulsa last season, resulting in a win and a draw. Saturday’s game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT.
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