Tulsa and T2 played a quiet first half. Two yellow cards were the height of the action. Andy Thoma got a yellow card for retaliating on a Tulsa player that fouled Jeanderson but was not called. And Tulsa's Ryan Price got his own yellow card about half way through the first half.
T2 generated a lot of opportunities as they controlled the majority of possession throughout the first half. But they could not convert anything. Asprilla had a cross in that found Belmar who put the goal in the net but Asprilla was judged offsides and the goal called back. Anthony Manning had a powerful header off a corner kick but he was denied by the woodwork. And Asprilla had two shots that just went way off target followed by a header that kissed the top netting as it went over the bar instead of under it. Tulsa's only shot on goal in the first half didn't come until stoppage time but Gleeson made the save look easy as he kept the teams level going into the break.
In the second half, T2 continued the strong defensive and overall performance as they continued to stifle Tulsa and keep them pinned into their own half for long stretches of the match. And the T2 patience and effort was rewarded with another goal from Kharlton Belmar. Putting his 12th goal of the season into the net, he gave the home side the 1-0 lead in the 51st minute. Dairon Asprilla, playing his first match with T2, got the ball out on the right wing and sent in a cross that got through to Belmar who was able to put his shot under a Tulsa defender and their keeper to draw first blood.
After the T2 goal, they continued to pin Tulsa in their half. After a few subs were made around the 57th minute Tulsa began to find their way into the game and escape their half of the field. They were able to generate a few chances and really pushed to find an equalizer for about 10 minutes or so. But T2 were able to adjust and return the game state to one of passing around the Tulsa players as they stayed patient and searched for more opportunities.
And another one came in the 81st minute when Fatawu doubled T2's lead. Fatawu was able to get the ball in the middle circle and dribbled straight up the middle of the pitch. But no one from Tulsa stepped up to challenge Fatawu, they backed off, perhaps expecting him to pass. But Fatawu is not afraid to shoot. He takes every opportunity to do so, and has made plenty of shots from distance before. Even putting one in the net against the Whitecaps 2. Tonight, Fatawu picked up his second goal from distance with a rocket from 30 yards out right into the top corner of the net.
With their second goal T2 looked extremely comfortable in closing out the match. Tulsa appeared to be a bit tired, perhaps not liking the very smokey atmosphere (T2 players weren't keen on it either to be fair) and weren't able to challenge T2 with a goal to get themselves back in. They tried as the last few minutes ticked away, putting in a valiant effort to find a goal, but Gleeson and the T2 defense held strong. When the ref blew the final whistle, T2 earned their first shutout at home this season, 3rd overall.
With this second victory in a row and their first home shutout, T2 will take the confidence building performance on the road to Orange County Blues FC. They will travel south and play the OC Blues next Saturday, August 29th, at 7pm.