901 FC defeats FC Tulsa 1-0, extends unbeaten streak to four

Sports

Memphis, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC (4-4-4) defeated FC Tulsa (6-6-1) by a final tally of 1-0 Saturday night at AutoZone Park. With his fifth goal in as many matches, forward Kyle Murphy’s 45+4’ goal propelled the home side to a win, marking 901 FC’s first undefeated month (minimum two matches) since May 2019. The victory also bumps the club up to fifth in the Central Division standings. 

The action unfolded quickly at AutoZone Park as defender Mark Segbers made one of the plays of the match less than 10 minutes into the contest. After a Tulsa shot deflected up and over goalkeeper Kyle Morton, Segbers rushed in to make a sliding stop to kick the goal-bound ball off the line, keeping the match scoreless early. 

Despite needing a bandage wrapped around his head after taking a knock early in the first half, Kyle Murphy continued his remarkable form by scoring his sixth goal of the season, this time in first-half stoppage time. Forward Michael Salazar set up the play with some nifty footwork at the edge of the box, as midfielder Raúl González picked up the ball and looped in a perfect cross that found the bandaged head of Kyle Murphy to put 901 FC ahead in the 45+4’. 

With a number of early second-half substitutions, Memphis 901 FC focused on defending the lead for much of the second half. Just before nine minutes of stoppage time were added to the match, Kyle Morton pulled off a remarkable save in the 89’ as he palmed away a Tulsa shot headed towards goal. After nearly 11 minutes had run off the clock during stoppage time, the final whistle sounded, confirming Memphis 901 FC’s unbeaten July. 

With his sixth goal of the season, Kyle Murphy is now tied for 12th in the league and for third in Memphis history in goals scored in a season. Quietly having another efficient outing, midfielder Laurent Kissiedou led the team in total shots, shots on target, total passes, successful passes, touches and aerial duels won. Finally, Kyle Morton’s two crucial saves moved the ‘keeper into a tie with Sporting Director Tim Howard’s 14 saves at fourth in club history. 

“It’s the first undefeated month since our first season and that’s big,” Head Coach Ben Pirmann said. “We got the result, but moving forward, we have to improve on a few things. With that being said, I’m thrilled for the supporters, thrilled for the community, and it’s always good to get three points.” 

“Not just tonight, but every night, there’s always room to improve and look at the positives and negatives,” Mark Segbers said. “We worked hard, stayed together as a unit and made it hard for them [FC Tulsa] to score. At the end of the day, three points are three points and we’re happy with that. On to the next.” 

Memphis 901 FC will return to the road to visit Sporting Kansas City II for the first time this season on Saturday, August 1. Saturday’s match in Kansas City is set to kick off at 4 p.m. CT and can be seen on CW30 Memphis and ESPN+.

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