Saint Louis Club Atletico scored their first home victory for the club and second of the season, outlasting Tulsa Athletic by scoring four goals in the 2 ½ hour marathon. The game had to be delayed for 45 minutes because of lightning in the area. The game was delayed in the 66th minute with the score deadlocked at two.
The exciting first half saw Tulsa open the scoring in the eleventh minute. The goal came off a free kick that was crossed in from 30 yards out. There was a scramble in the box where Tulsa took three shots at the goal and Saint Louis goalkeeper Nate Himes made point-blank saves but on the last rebound Declan Fitzpatrick gathered the ball and then found the back of the net.
Six minutes later, Saint Louis came roaring back when Mitch Moncada beat two Tulsa defenders down the right sideline and drove to the end line where he slotted the ball into the middle of the box. A Tulsa defender who was coming back to defend knocked the ball into his own net, evening the score at one.
That goal gave Saint Louis some momentum as they kept attacking and getting chances down the sidelines. Jacob Krupp and Allando Brown worked some passes together and created some great chances for Saint Louis down the left sideline. Eric Lopez worked the right sideline and was able to get pass the Tulsa defense as Jair Hernandez sent a through ball to Lopez in the 28th minute. Lopez’s breakaway was deflected wide by keeper Austin Wormell, setting up a corner for Saint Louis. On the corner, Jacob Krupp sent a ball to the back side of the goal where captain center back Josh Ward headed the ball back into the middle where Brayan Lopez was there to knock in his first goal of the season.
The last five minutes of the first half saw a lot of action and chances by both teams. The first chance came when Saint Louis’ Mitch Moncada stole a Tulsa pass in their backfield then beat one defender and his shot was turned away by Wormell. A minute later, Tulsa created a chance on the right side which led to a shot that was destined for the lower corner of the goal, but Himes made a diving save to keep the score at 2–1. The last minute of the half had Tulsa’s Aaron Ugbach go down in the box. The referee awarded Tulsa a penalty kick and Joseph Garcia did convert, making the halftime score 2–2.
The second half saw Saint Louis Club Atletico’s defense really step their game up. Will Linder and Josh Ward controlled the middle and won lots of 50/50 balls in the air. In front of them, Rodrigo Carrasco, Chad Niece, and Brayan Lopez dominated the center midfield. After the lightning delay, Saint Louis broke the tie in the 80th minute when Allando Brown used a back heel pass to split two Tulsa defenders from a very tight space. That pass led Krupp free down the left side where he then gave a great pass to Lopez, who did the rest by burying a shot to the far corner of the goal where the keeper had no chance.
After the Atletico goal, Tulsa kept fighting and created a chance where Himes made a big save that led to fourth goal for Saint Louis. After the save, Lopez sent a thru ball to Junior Kazeem, who entered the game in 82nd minute. Kazeem finished his break away by placing the ball calmly into the side net.
“It feels great to get a big win at home,” Man of the Match Eric Lopez stated. “ It was a tremendous team effort.”
Saint Louis Club Atletico will travel to Little Rock next Saturday as they seek revenge from a 3 -1 loss two weeks ago.
Contributor: Saint Louis Club Atletico
Photo Credit: Saint Louis Club Atletico