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FC Tucson Wins Home Opener, 2-1, Over Albuquerque

By FC Tucson Communications, 05/12/18, 10:15PM MST

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TUCSON, Ariz. (May 12, 2018) – FC Tucson began its 2018 PDL campaign with a win as Damien German scored twice to lead the club to a 2-1 victory over Albuquerque Sol FC at Kino North Stadium on Saturday night. On both goals, he was assisted by teammate Adrian Gonzalez.

After a slow start, German opened the scoring in the 26th minute, taking a pass from Gonzalez in open space just inside the box and slotting a close-range shot past Albuquerque goalkeeper Ford Parker with his left foot. 

The score remained 1-0 until the 54th minute, when Gonzalez set up German again. Gonzalez intercepted a pass from Parker in the midfield and quickly launched a cross into the box. German ran to the back post and finished on a half-volley, sneaking the ball just inside the post to double Tucson’s lead.

German came close to recording a hat trick before being subbed off in the 72nd minute. Twice he had a potential third goal blocked inside the box, including a headed attempt from just outside the 6-yard box in the 69th minute that Parker turned away with a one-handed save.

Albuquerque mounted a late rally, capped by an 87th minute goal from Sol FC forward Luke Lawrence, who blasted a short shot past Tucson goalkeeper Briley Guarnari after taking a pass from midfielder Bailey Leatherman. But the visitors couldn’t complete the comeback despite a couple late free kicks from deep in the Tucson half.

Prior to conceding the goal, Guarnari had been stellar for FC Tucson. The keeper denied Albuquerque attackers multiple times, including a tricky save on a free kick from midfielder Josh Goss early in the first-half.

In the opening minutes, Sol FC had appeared to strike first on a free kick from just outside the box but were ruled offside by the referee.

Tucson fielded an almost identical lineup to the side that defeated La Maquina FC 2-1, in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, keeping nine of the 11 starters for the first league match of the season.

The club will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Las Vegas to face United Soccer League (USL) club Las Vegas Lights FC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. FC Tucson’s next league match will be on Friday, May 25, at Ogden City SC.