Spoils shared between TU and MO State in an eventful evening

Sports writer Aiman Fariz Zaqwan Bin Akmal Hizam discusses the men’s soccer game against MO State.
Tulsa’s Golden Hurricanes hosted No.
18 Missouri State Bears in an eventful
evening at the Hurricane Soccer and Track
Stadium. Tulsa was looking to bounce
back from their 1-0 loss away at ORU
last Saturday and Missouri State com-
ing in hot following their 1-0 win against
UMKC Kangaroos.
On paper, both teams looked equally
matched with a similar possession-heavy,
build-from-the-back playing style. Coach
Tom McIntosh stuck with the same start-
ing line-up from their last match, retain-
ing the same 4-4-2 starting formation
featuring American Athletic Conference
preseason goalkeeper of the year, Alex
Lopez, between the goal posts. Mean-
while, Coach Michael Seabolt of Missouri
made just one change to his starting 11
from their last match, with Daniel Shabani
starting as the left back in place of Pascal
With the referee blowing his whistle
at the start of the first half, TU got the
ball rolling and was off to an energetic
start. Both teams exchanged attacks right
from the bat, with the Bears often play-
ing crosses into the penalty box and Tulsa
trying to play cutbacks from both flanks.
Fifteen minutes into the match, right af-
ter Will Edwards took a throw-in, the first
drama of the evening happened as the ref-
eree blew his whistle and called for the
stadium to be cleared due to bad weather.
Black clouds formed and it rained for 30
minutes, with lightning and thunder in be-
tween. When the rain slowly showed signs
of stopping, fans filled the stadium again
and the players and referees got back on
the field to resume the match after 15 ad-
ditional minutes of re-warming up.
With 22 minutes remaining in the
first half, the heavy pressing system ap-
plied by Tulsa’s forwards finally dispos-
sessed Missouri. In an attempt to recover
the ball, Missouri fouled Tulsa’s prolific
number nine, Malik Henry-Scott, right
at the inside edge of the penalty box and
TU was awarded a penalty kick. Spanish
midfielder, Sergio Baena, was up for the
task and made no mistake to strike it at the
bottom left corner of the net and gave the
Golden Hurricanes a one goal advantage.
At the 36 minute, right winger Yuki
Sekiguchi was subbed off for forward
Camilo Vargas, whose time on the pitch
only lasted for six minutes as the second
drama of the evening happened. Vargas’
effort to win the ball against Missouri’s
Pedro Arcoverde was deemed too harsh
by the referee, who gave him a red card.
Tulsa’s bench was clearly unhappy with
the situation and argued that he won the
ball, which he did. The referee then went
to check the video review at the side, but
his judgment stayed and Vargas was sent
to the dressing room. This meant Tulsa
had to compete a player down for the rest
of the match.
With 60 seconds on the clock to close
out the first half, Lopez’s long ball was
intercepted by the Bears’ defense, who
then wasted no time and launched a quick
counterattack in one last effort to equalize
the score. Tulsa’s complacency in defend-
ing their final third left too much ground
for Missouri’s eight, Barea, to run into,
allowing a pinpoint cross into the edge
of Tulsa’s penalty box which found their
right back, Gil, to smash it in for an equal-
izer. Half time, Tulsa 1, Missouri State 1.
The second half resumed and an
extra man on the field proved a huge ad-
vantage for Missouri State as they played
with more ball possession and were al-
ways looking to add more goals to their
tally while Tulsa played more carefully.
The third drama came late in the second
half when Missouri’s number 25, Gijs
Hovius, was shown red for pushing Baena
down in Tulsa’s penalty box right before
the Bears were taking a corner.
With five minutes left to close out
the game, while both teams were exchang-
ing attacks, the lights in the stadium went
off and the game was delayed again. The
game resumed after 10 minutes and both
sides tried to find the winner, but neither
could find their finishing touch. The final
whistle blew as the spoils were shared in
a dramatic night at the Hurricane Soccer
Stadium. Both teams now have less than a
week for their next battles as the Golden
Hurricanes host Drake while the Bears
welcome VCU this Saturday.

Post Author: Aiman Akmal Hizam