It seems to almost defy logic that a team that had 56 percent of the possession and amassed 22 shots could be on the wrong end of a 5-1 score.
But that’s where FC Tucson found itself after Sunday’s match at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Men in Black were just a trio of toe-pokes and a converted penalty away from netting a quintet of goals themselves against Fort Lauderdale CF.
After Fort Lauderdale midfielder Abel Caputo put FC Tucson in an early hole with a goal in the second minute, the Men in Black quickly responded when Daniel Bedoya was taken down in the box on a breakaway. FC Tucson forward Franco Perez stepped up to take the penalty but was thwarted when his shot down the middle struck the foot of goalkeeper Drake Callender in the 10th minute.
In the 26th minute, FC Tucson let another opportunity go begging when Perez couldn’t reach a scintillating cross that slid through the box.
Fort Lauderdale doubled its lead when Christian Young right-footed in a rebound after FC Tucson goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley parried away a free kick in the 39th minute. A few minutes later, Lapsley made a sensational double save, first with his left foot at point-blank range and then with his right hand, to keep FC Tucson in it heading into the break.
But Fort Lauderdale found the net again in the 48th minute when George Acosta scored on a perfectly placed, grass-cutter laser from just outside the 18-yard box.
The Men in Black twice had chances that were a whisker away from going in from close range and then finally ended the stupefying string of near misses with a goal in the 75th minute. A Gio Calixtro pass broke the Fort Lauderdale defense and hit Joao Delgado in stride. Delgado clinically finished it off to cut the deficit to 3-1.
FC Tucson continued to push forward to try to get back into the match but were victimized twice by streaking breakaways by Venton Evans, the first in the 77th minute and the second in the 87th minute.
FC Tucson (0-2-1, 1 point) will return to action on Wednesday, May 26, when it faces host Toronto FC II in a match at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m.