A lot was on the line as young Athletic took to the road again on Sunday for their second meeting with perennial title contenders Tyler FC Kings. A win would see Athletic go nine points clear at the top of the Red River table. However, a loss would see the gap between rivals Tyler and FF Premier narrow, the latter with a game in hand.
Tulsa got off to a dream start in the 4th minute as Kolby Bauer's cross found in form striker Keith Peterson who calmly gave Athletic the lead after his initial attempt was kept out. Tyler Fc equalized through Asiel Palmomos in the 38th minute, but it was the sublime freekick three minutes later from Edgar Sanchez that stole the show on the day. Sanchez's powerful, dipping, knuckling effort beat TA 20 keeper Nolan Cosgrove and gave them their first lead of the half and has since garnered several likes and retweets on Twitter. Tulsa has shown a lot of heart against Tyler FC this year but nobody would have faulted young Athletic for being a little shell shocked after seeing a lead turn into a deficit in the span of three minutes. The exact opposite happened in the 43rd minute as Keith Peterson notched his 4th tally of the campaign almost immediately after Tulsa had conceded.
"It was a great reaction, and it shows that we're really maturing as a group." said coach Levi Coleman
"A game is ninety plus minutes. To sulk or get your head down when your trailing is only time and opportunity wasted in terms of getting yourself back into a game"
The two sides entered the break knotted at 2-2.
Ruben Torres has been a valuable addition since being added to the side and in the 66th minute his freekick restored the Tulsa lead and gave Torres his third goal in as many games. Unfortunately in this back and forth thriller, the lead was short lived. Kane Jeffus whose cross to brother Luke sealed the epic 4-3 comeback in the first meeting; was unable to clear Athletic lines in the 73rd minute and was credited with an own goal. The final fifteen minutes couldn't keep pace with the prior seventy five and the two sides ended deadlocked.
Final score: 3-3
Arguably the match of the season in the Red River division takes place on Sunday as FF Premier come to Tulsa at 2:00 at the Union Soccer Complex Championship field. A win would see TA20 take a very dominant position at the halfway point of the season. A loss would see the Red River Division become a wide open affair. Both teams realize what is at stake. It is not one to miss. Admission is free and the club's new jacquard knit hat will be available for purchase (just $20 USD!!!) in the merchandise tent. Plenty of reasons to come out!
Asiel Palmomos '38
Edgar Sanchez '41
K. Jeffus (OG) '73