Sporting Kansas City II

Recap: Spirited rally falls short as Sporting KC II loses 4-3 thriller at FC Tulsa

Second-half substitute Tyler Freeman struck two late goals on Wednesday night as Sporting Kansas City II (1-4-4, 7 points) dropped a 4-3 thriller to FC Tulsa (4-3-0, 12 points) at ONEOK Field.

The 18-year-old Sporting KC Academy product cut into Tulsa's three-goal cushion in the 87th minute before sending a stunning free kick into the top corner deep into stoppage time. Rookie Rojay Smith also found the back of the net for SKC II, giving his side an early lead, but Tulsa did their damage with four unanswered goals from Rodrigo da Costa, Marlon Santos, Dario Suarez and Joaquin Rivas.

Head coach Paulo Nagamura made two changes to Sporting KC II's starting lineup from a 2-2 road draw last week at Atlanta United 2. Seventeen-year-old academy product and outside back Michael Lenis earned his first professional start, while 19-year-old goalkeeper Brooks Thompson landed his 2021 season debut on loan from Sporting Kansas City.

The visitors landed the first haymaker inside seven minutes, but not before Tulsa threatened with a 25-yard sledgehammer from Lucas Coutinho that rattled the crossbar and looped out of play.

Smith fired SKC II ahead by punishing a fatal giveaway from the hosts. An immediate high press off a short Tulsa goal kick saw Jake Davis tap the ball into the path of the Jamaican rookie, who slotted low past goalkeeper Sean Lewis for his second goal in three matches. Davis tabbed his first assist of the season on the play as SKC II raced out to a dream start.

Center back Aljaz Dzankic bailed out Sporting KC II on the half-hour mark when the Croatian youth international performed a textbook slide tackle to deny Suarez in a breakaway situation.

FC Tulsa restored parity in the 42nd minute. Coutinho did well to squeeze past a pair of tacklers and slip a through ball to da Costa, who finished low into the far right corner. Jorge Corrales was involved in Tulsa's go-ahead goal three minutes later, seeing his close-range effort repelled by Thompson before Santos tapped home the rebound on the doorstep.

Suarez won Tulsa a penalty in the 62nd minute, suffering a foul from Kayden Pierre, and doubled his team's advantage with a successful spot kick conversion for his fourth tally of 2021.

Rivas came off the bench and added to Sporting KC II's woes in the 72nd minute, combining with da Costa and rifling past Thompson for his fifth goal of the season.

A spirited fightback from SKC II saw Freeman finish with aplomb off a pinpoint Smith cross in the 87th minute. Seven minutes later, Freeman secured his first career brace at the professional level with a marvelous 22-yard free kick that bent over the Tulsa wall and past the outstretched Lewis.

Nagamura's men will return to Children's Mercy Park on Sunday for a 4 p.m. CT showdown against Central Division rivals Indy Eleven (3-4-1, 10 points). The contest will stream live on ESPN Plus.

2021 USL Championship | Match 9
ONEOK Field | Tulsa, Oklahoma
Attendance: 3,690
Weather: 93 degrees and sunny

Sporting Kansas City II (1-4-4, 7 points)
FC Tulsa (4-3-0, 12 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: Brooks Thompson; Michael Lenis (Bailey Sparks 68'), Aljaz Dzankic (Matt Constant 68'), Danny Barbir, Kayden Pierre; Petar Cuic (Jahon Rad 68'), Christian Duke (C), Jake Davis; Rojay Smith, Ropapa Mensah (Dominik Resetar 23' [Tyler Freeman 76']), Enoch Mushagalusa
Subs Not Used: Gavin Krenecki, Ozzie Cisneros

FC Tulsa: Sean Lewis; Bradley Bourgeois (C), Kevin Garcia, Jorge Corrales, Matt Sheldon; Kembo Kibato (Ciaran Winters 77'), Eric Bird (Raphael Ayagwa 57'); Dario Suarez, Marlon Santos (Stanley Oganbor 77'), Lucas Coutinho (Joaquin Rivas 54'); Rodrigo da Costa
Subs Not Used: Austin Wormell, Jerome Kiesewetter, Solomon Kwambe

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Rojay Smith 2 (Jake Davis 1) 7'
TUL -- Rodrigo da Costa 2 (Lucas Coutinho 1) 42'
TUL -- Marlon Santos 1 (unassisted) 45'
TUL -- Dario Suarez 4 (penalty kick) 62'
TUL -- Joaquin Rivas 5 (Rodrigo da Costa 3) 72'
SKC -- Tyler Freeman 2 (Rojay Smith 1) 87'
SKC -- Tyler Freeman 3 (unassisted) 90+4'

Misconduct Summary:
TUL -- Kembo Kibato (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 18'
SKC -- Aljaz Dzankic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 34'
TUL -- Marlon Santos (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 45+2'
TUL -- Dominik Resetar (yellow card; dissent) 45+3'

Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Matt Franz
Assistant Referee: Shane Kennard
Assistant Referee: Seth Barton
Fourth Official: Jose Lara