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FC Tucson ends home stand with 2-0 win over Lansing

Devyn & Devin on scoresheet; Jambga scores in first start; Phoenix Rising loanee Vega converts free kick

FC Tucson began the last game of a three-day home stand on Tuesday night hoping for their first win at Kino North Stadium. Before the smaller weeknight crowd, they got their wish, a 2 – 0 win over visiting team Lansing Unite FC. 

The team that took the field included three loanees from Arizona United, two players — Devyn Jambga and José Carlos Terrón — who had their first starts, and Austin Ledbetter, the one-time FC Dallas draftee returning to Tucson after a loan stint with Phoenix Rising.

The match moved a lot like the last one: FC Tucson allowed their opponents a lot of time on the ball. League stats showed the team with only a shade over one-third of time on the ball (33.6 percent). They made the most of the time they had on the ball; Terrón delivered the ball to Jambga in minute 27 who sent the ball past Lansing’s Keeper.

It took until the second half for the team to extend the lead. FC Tucson’s Joey Calistri got brought down just outside the box by Lansing defender Brandon Fricke at the hour mark. Devin Vega, the San Antonio-born loanee from Phoenix Rising, sent the ensuing free kick around the wall and just past the fingers of Lansing keeper Kyle Ihn.

Calistri tried to score again on his own minutes later, but his shot was stymied by Lansing’s Ihn.

The win puts FC Tucson in fourth place, just in the narrow four-team “playoff zone” on the league table. The team is tied with three other teams at seven points, including their next opponent, Richmond Kickers, who they will face away on May 11th. 

Possession is 9/10 of the law but...

Final stats showed Lansing with 65.4 percent possession, which was actually more than what was posted by their opponents in Friday’s loss (56.1 percent). After Friday’s match, coach Darren Sawatzky admitted that the team was content to sit back, but they also could have been better on shots and defensive consistency. 

After Tuesday’s match, Sawatzky noted again that the game is won by goals and defense, not holding the ball.

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“The last time I checked, the amount of possession never won a soccer game,” he said. “Up to right now, we’ve been giving up goals that we shouldn’t so we chose to give them the space in front of us. When you do that, they’ve got possession but they aren’t going anywhere.”

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FC Tucson

Devyn Jambga, who played at SEIU Edwardsville with fellow Tucsonense Austin Ledbetter, scored in his first start.

FC Tucson vs. Lansing Ignite FC

Kino North Stadium

Scoring Summary:
FCT - Devyn Jambga (27’)
FCT - Devin Vega (60’)

Disciplinary Summary:
FCT - Raheem Somersall (caution, 38’)
FCT - Ben Spencer (caution, 49’)
LAN - Brandon Fricke (caution, 49’)
FCT - Devin Vega (caution, 57’) 

FC Tucson: Phillip Ejimadu - Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Austin Ledbetter, José Terrón, Kyle Venter - Scott Devoss, Raheem Somersall, Joey Calistri* (Jamael Cox, 71’), Devin Vega* - Devyn Jambga (Guillermo Delgado 81’), Ben Spencer* (Eti Tavares 71’)

* On loan from Phoenix Rising.

Lansing Ignite FC: Kyle Ihn – Grant Stoneman, Brandon Fricke, Kyle Carr (Kevin Coiffic 71’), Rhys Williams – Nick Moon (Patricio “Pato” Botello Faz 77’), Ivo Cerda, Christian Silva (Steeve “Selso” Saint-Duc 60’), Xavier Gomez, Robinson “Tumi” Moshobane – Alex Bruce