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GAMEDAY REPORT: Tulsa Claims Playoff Berth, Defeats Switchbacks

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 10/03/20, 11:09PM EDT

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Da Costa records goal, assist to lead side into second postseason with third consecutive win

TULSA, Okla. – FC Tulsa earned its second trip to the USL Championship Playoffs in club history on Saturday night as Rodrigo Da Costa notched a goal and assist to lead a 2-0 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at ONEOK Field. Tulsa’s third consecutive victory moved it clear of Austin Bold FC in second place in the Group D standings and into its first playoff berth since 2017.

Coming off late victories in its last two outings, Tulsa got out to a faster start on Saturday night. Da Costa almost grabbed the lead for the hosts in the fifth minute as he corralled a cross from the right by Marlon in the center of the penalty area and fired toward the left corner, only to be denied by a good save from Switchbacks goalkeeper Sean Melvin.

Da Costa then almost set up Dario Suarez in the 12th minute as the duo worked a sharp piece of interplay with Ariel Martinez that saw Da Costa lift a pass into the penalty area for Suarez to latch onto, but his lifted finish past the advancing goalkeeper bounced just wide of the right post. Marlon the threatened twice in four minutes, the first after a clever interception in the attacking third before he fired into the right side-netting and the second a header just over the crossbar from six yards after a measured cross by Suarez from the left.

Colorado Springs’ first big chance arrived on the half-hour mark but Jordan Burt was unable to control his finish from the right side of the penalty area, shooting over the crossbar. Six minutes later, though, Tulsa took the lead as Da Costa dug out a cross from the left that found Marlon at the top of the six-yard area that he headed back across goal and into the left corner of the net.

Five minutes before halftime Da Costa made it two as he tried to chase down a through-ball by Martinez to the top of the penalty area. Melvin got to the ball first as he came off his line quickly, but his attempt to clear caromed off Da Costa and looped into the open net to give Tulsa its insurance goal.

The hosts almost made it three in first-half stoppage time as Martinez’s effort to the right corner of the net was well saved by Melvin, while Suarez went close 12 minutes into the second half only for Melvin to smother his shot as he came off his line to keep out a through-ball into the left side of the penalty area. The two first-half goals, however, proved enough for Tulsa as it saw out the final half-hour comfortably to secure its place in the playoffs.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Rodrigo Da Costa, FC Tulsa – Da Costa had a goal and assist, recorded three shots on goal and three key passes and completed 15 of 18 passes overall in a fine overall display by the hosts. 

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