By Arkansas Wolves SC
On a great day afternoon to play soccer, Tulsa Athletic travelled to Little Rock to visit first-year side Arkansas Wolves, a club that was making their debut in the NPSL.
From the first minute the game was very dynamic. The Wolves kept the possession, mainly on their own half and looked for quick transitions. Tulsa Athletic pressed high up the pitch and created a few dangerous opportunities from the effectiveness of the press.
With a very even match, it was the home team that struck first. Chris Orellana assisted Oscar Herrera for the Wolves to put them in the lead. The Wolves found success after a very even half and dominated for some good periods of time. Tulsa responded fast. Through high pressure on the Wolves’ buildup, Tulsa was able to capitalize on a defensive mistake and make it even at 1-1.
The success on the attack made Tulsa gain momentum, and they were able to strike again to take the 2-1 lead. The teams kept playing their styles, both having good moments. When it looked like the first half was going to end up in favor of the visitors, the Wolves scored after a combination play that ended up with Herrera scoring his second for the day.
The second half started and showed some more attacking football from both sides. Long balls to the forwards gave Tulsa very good chances in counters, while the home team continued to try to keep possession. Tulsa started getting most of the second balls and a bigger percentage of possession. Dangerous balls from their center backs to the attacking line put the Wolves on alert as Tulsa was very dangerous in many moments of the game. For the second time in the game, Tulsa found the back of the net and started to take a little more control. Going into a more possession-style team, they looked to generate long sequences of passes before being a bit more direct.
With multiple substitutes now on the field, the Wolves started getting more dangerous, the direct style started creating various dangerous situations in transition for the Wolves. Towards the end of the game, they created various chances and ended up scoring the goal that would set the result for the game. Herrera found Regis Mawire to leave the final score at 3-3.
The game ended in a tie after a very even match that saw two different styles of play. There was a lot of good soccer, which is a good start to conference play.
Photo Credit: Jenn Pope McKenzie and Natural State Films