INDIANAPOLIS – Joaquin Rivas notched his second two-goal performance of the season as FC Tulsa took a 2-0 win against Indy Eleven on Saturday night at Michael A. Carroll Stadium. Tulsa’s victory was its third in a row to start the 2021 USL Championship season as it maintained its early lead in the Central Division.
The visitors opened sharply, but the first real chance fell to Indy in the 14th minute as a corner kick from the left came to Aboubacar Sissoko for a well-hit shot that went just wide of the left post. The hosts began to take control of the game’s tempo as the first half progressed, and off another corner Neveal Hackshaw sent a header wide of the right post as pressure started to build on Tulsa’s back line.
Indy almost grabbed the lead again 10 minutes before halftime as an angled ball to the right by Nicky Law found Nick Moon, whose quick step created space as he cut inside the penalty area before his low shot caromed off the base of the right post and out before a rebound effort by Patrick Seagrist was blocked away to safety by Matt Sheldon.
The pressure for the hosts continued into the second half, and a long throw-in by Hackshaw that landed in the penalty area was almost sent home on an attempted bicycle kick by Manuel Arteaga shortly after the resumption. Seagrist then forced a good save from Tulsa’s Sean Lewis with a header back across goal from the left corner of the six-yard area.
But against the run of play, Tulsa struck as Joaquin Rivas opened the scoring in the 62nd minute. A deft header from the center of the penalty area that redirected Bradley Bourgeois’ angled ball from the right into the left corner of the net gave the El Salvador international his third goal of the season on the visitor's first shot on goal of the game.
Tulsa was then offered a chance to put the game away inside the final 10 minutes when second-half substitute Jerome Kiesewetter was brought down in the penalty area as he pursued a through-ball, and Rivas made no mistake with a shot to the top-right corner from the spot.
Indy had its own late chance from the penalty spot to cut into Tulsa's lead with a minute to go after a handball by defender Modou Jadama inside the box, but Ayoze's shot hit the crossbar, ending any hope the hosts had of a comeback.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Joaquin Rivas, FC Tulsa – Rivas put home a great header and an unstoppable penalty kick to lift Tulsa in the second half, while also completing 19 of 24 passes and recording two key passes.
TUL – Joaquin Rivas (Bradley Bourgeois) 62’
TUL – Joaquin Rivas (Penalty Kick) 81’