FC Tucson opens season with 3-1 win over Guanajuato XI at Kino North Stadium
FC Tucson fell behind early but showed great determination with two first-half goals and then added a third in the second half to open the franchise’s 12th season with a 3-1 win over the Guanajuato XI in a friendly exhibition at Kino North Stadium on Friday night.
While FC Tucson had a handful of chances in the first few minutes, it was the all-stars from a local Tucson adult league that took the lead when Ricky Florez looped a parabola shot from about 45 yards that fell just under the crossbar in the ninth minute.
The Men in Black quickly responded when defender Patrick Strauss headed in a ball that eluded the Guanajuato defense and bounced into the goal on a pass from Fernando Garate in the 20th minute.
Before a crowd of 1,793 on Cinco de Mayo, FC Tucson took the lead for good in the 35th minute when Shoki Yoshida ran onto a through ball and perfectly placed a right-footed shot along the grass that eluded the Guanajuato goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
Guanajuato’s Sergio Flores had a chance at an equalizer in the waning moments of the first half, but his shot rocketed off the crossbar.
FC Tucson continued to put on pressure in the second half and was rewarded with a goal in the 73rd. Midfielder Vilius Labutis curled in a left-footer from the top of the box to add the insurance goal for the Men in Black.
FC Tucson will return to Kino North Stadium on Wednesday, May 10th, to take on FC Arizona in another friendly. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.