Two second-half goals by North Texas SC spelled defeat for FC Tucson on Saturday night at Kino North Stadium.
After FC Tucson controlled the tempo in the first half and for the first 10 minutes of the second half, North Texas had four bites at the apple before sinking in its teeth when Erik Virgin was called for a handball in the penalty area and Giovanni Godoy was shown a yellow card for a foul in the box. Ronaldo Damus converted the penalty in the 61st minute for his third goal of the season to give North Texas a 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes later, North Texas (2-2-4, 10 points) doubled its lead when Collin Smith scored from close range during a goalmouth scramble.
“They’re obviously disappointed with the result because they feel they put in an honest performance and an honest shift,” FC Tucson coach John Galas said. “But again, moments change games. ... I feel bad for my boys for this one.”
FC Tucson had a lion’s share of the chances in a scoreless first half. Charlie Dennis had a shot just miss in the seventh minute and Shak Adams had a shot go just slightly wide on a breakaway in the 12th minute. North Texas keeper Carlos Avilez came out about 40 yards and Adams had him beat, only to see the ball trickle just past the far post, denying the FC Tucson forward from becoming just the second player in USL League One history to score in five consecutive matches. Emiliano Terzaghi of the Richmond Kickers became the first player earlier in the day against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC.
“They had more possession, but we knew that they were going to try to build out of the back ... we weren’t really worried about that,” Galas said. “We obviously had some clear, clear chances."
"If Shak scores that goal, if we get a lucky break, it could have been a different outcome. We just can’t catch a break. We absolutely went toe to toe with this team which is absolutely one of the best in the league in terms of pure football.”
North Texas had a handful of corners in the final 20 minutes of the first half, but rarely threatened FC Tucson keeper Carlos Merancio.
FC Tucson (2-5-1, 7 points) will look to get back into the win column when it hosts New England Revolution II at Kino North Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16.