A very early goal from a familiar source and a second-half stellar effort from a new scorer propelled FC Tucson to a 2-1 win over Forward Madison FC at Kino North Stadium on Wednesday night.
In its last three matches in the midst of a five-match-in-15-day stretch, FC Tucson has two wins and a draw.
For the second straight home game, FC Tucson struck early and, like before, it was Elivelton who drew first blood. With FC Tucson pressing early, the Brazilian picked up a pass from Tommy Silva and fired the Men In Black ahead in the third minute. Unlike his goals in each of the last two games, Elivelton used his foot rather than his head this time.
“He’s the new Shak (Adams),” FC Tucson coach John Galas said, referring to Adams’ run of four goals in four games earlier this season. “You have to look at his confidence right now. He’s learned our system. He’s getting into great areas and great spots on the field. And he’s playing so well from box to box.”
After Elivelton’s goal, the game swiveled almost 180 degrees with Forward Madison (3-4-2, 11 points) dominating play. The Wisconsin club held possession for long stretches and had the lion’s share of the chances. The only exception came when FC Tucson defender Niall Logue’s long shot hit the post.
Forward Madison finally earned a fruit from its labors in the 40th minute when Paulo Junior got his foot to the ball just before FC Tucson’s Esteban Calvo could toe it away in a goalmouth scramble to fire it into the net.
“I told them at halftime that we are going to get throttled if you don’t work harder off the ball and defend,” Galas said. “We needed to fight and claw our way back into the game. And that’s what we did. I’m so proud of how we did tonight and how we have done over this stretch of games.”
FC Tucson (4-5-2, 14 points) came out with a different mindset to start the second half and retook the lead in the 55th minute. In just his fourth start of the year, forward Josh Coan picked up the ball at the top of the box, went right and then turned around and whipped in a lightning-quick shot that curled around diving goalkeeper Philipp Marceta just inside the far post. It was his first goal of the season.
“We had to make a couple of personnel changes, we had to plug some guys in,” Galas said. “Josh came in and scored a great goal.”
FC Tucson wraps up a stretch of five matches in 15 days with a home contest against Fort Lauderdale CF on Saturday, Sept. 26. Kickoff at Kino North Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.