MIAMI – Tulsa Athletic scored early and held the lead for the first 60 minutes but couldn’t hold on in a 4-1 loss at Miami FC on Saturday (July 20) in the South Region finals at Buccaneer Field.
Tulsa Athletic suffered their first loss of the season, snapping a 13-match unbeaten streak as Tulsa finished the season with a 10-3-1 record and won the Heartland Conference champion in the regular season and playoffs.
The green and yellow scored in the 25th minute and had the advantage for the first 61 minutes, but Miami scored four times late to take the South Region title at home, their second straight regional championship.
Tulsa Athletic gained an early lead when Aboubakr Diallo took a touch to his right and scored to the lower left corner for a 1-0 edge to the visiting team in the 25th minute of the contest.
Tulsa had some early opportunities, including a shot from Adam Habib that sailed over the crossbar. Goalkeeper Bryson Reed made some huge saves to keep Tulsa Athletic up 1-0 early in the regional championship.
In an even first half with chances for both sides, Tulsa continued to hold the advantage going into the halftime break.
Miami FC, who won the 2018 NPSL championship, evened the score in the 61st minute and added three more goals in the final 21 minutes for the 4-1 victory.
Miami tied the score at 1-1 in the 61st minute when Miguel Gonzalez knocked in a rebound off a long shot that hit the goal post.
A quick counterattack after a long ball to Dario Suarez gave the host squad a 2-1 advantage in the 69th minute. Suarez got loose on the left side after a long pass and scored to the far-left post for the 2-1 edge for Miami FC.
Miami added another goal on a penalty for a 3-1 score in the 83rd minute. Ariel Martinez tallied the goal on the penalty. Martinez finished with a brace with his second goal in the 89th minute for the 4-1 final score.
Tulsa Athletic went unbeaten during the regular season with a 7-0-3 record and won the Heartland Conference regular season title by 11 points. In the postseason, Tulsa won the Heartland Conference champion with victories over Ozark FC and Demize NPSL in Tulsa at Veterans Park. Before tonight’s game in Miami, Tulsa Athletic defeated Fort Worth Vaqueros in the NPSL South Region semifinals on Tuesday to advance to the South Region championship, one of only eight teams in the 91 team NPSL to advance this far.
2019 NPSL Season
South Region Finals
Miami 4 : 1 Tulsa
Saturday, July 20
Miami, Fla. – Buccaneer Field
TUL: Aboubakr Diallo 25’
MIA: Miguel Gonzalez 61’
MIA: Dario Suarez 69’
MIA: Ariel Martinez 83’
MIA: Ariel Martinez 89’