Franck Tayou snuck a goal from the score line through the back of the net in the 91st minute as FC Wichita completed a historic comeback to advance to the third round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time in club history.
In the 50th minute, Eddie Gomez was sent off for a second red card. Seconds later, Tulsa Roughnecks FC scored on a free kick, putting Tulsa up 3-2 and it appeared everything FC Wichita had worked for was going down the drain. Questionable calls put FC Wichita in a position to roll over; to quit.
Nelson Landaverde leveled the match in the 61st minute on a free kick from 19 yards out, once again bringing the match to even at 3-all.
“We enjoy playing with one another,” Franck Tayou said. “When you have that, it makes the other things easier.”
The second half was marred with yellow cards galore. 11 cards combined, two of them red, led to six minutes of added time.
In the 86th minute, TRFC’s Nemanja Vukovic was given a asecond yellow card and was sent off, leaving both clubs with 10 men.
That’s when the Tayou magic happened.
Leo Sosa ran down the right flank, placing a beautiful ball into the box. Tayou gained control after the TRFC keeper played it safe. He dribbled to the scoreline and bent the ball, like a man with telekinesis, into the back of the net.
Tayou was given a yellow card for taking off his jersey. However, to the keen eye saw the arm band of Shadow Sebele. Tayou’s tribute to his former teammate and club captain was shining as the upset was complete.
“We’re just happy to be here,” Tayou said. “We want to win but we have to take it one game at a time.”
FC Wichita’s pressure was strong from the onset. Multiple shots on goal in the fifth minute set the pace for the match. While Tulsa may have controlled the possession, FC Wichita made every opportunity count.
Tulsa drew first blood on a corner kick in the 30th minute. However, Thomas Wells, playing on his collegiate pitch, found a nice pass from Landaverde in the 35th minute to make it 1-1. Tulsa would score again in the 38th minute, taking a 2-1 lead into the break.
FC Wichita will now take on NTX Rayados on Wednesday May 23 in Dallas, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Richland Community College (field 10) in the third round of the US Open Cup. For now, FC Wichita will play Little Rock Rangers on Saturday, May 19 in the first double header of the season. The women kickoff at 4 p.m. and the men start at 7:30 p.m. You can get into each game for $15, saving you $5.