FC Tucson sends Red Wolves howling
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FC Tucson sends Red Wolves howling

Tucsonenses earn 4-0 shutout with goals from Wakasa, Jambga & new signee Jones

FC Tucson earned an emphatic 4 - 0 win over visiting Chatanooga Red Wolves FC on Saturday night. Devyn Jambga recorded a brace, while Jordan Jones debuted with a penalty-kick goal.

“It’s huge,” said midfielder Devyn Jambga after the match. “It’s a huge morale boost for the team to get four. It’s also huge to get the clean sheet. We had a complete game.”

The game is only the second time a team has scored four goals in a USL League One match (North Texas beat Orlando City B 4 - 1 on May 11) and the largest margin of victory for any team in the league.

The Tucson side took the field with only Jones, a one-time Los Angeles FC draft pick, listed as a forward plus a five-man midfield. The crowded midfield plus the usually solid backline limited Chatanooga to only two shots on goal for the entire match, despite the Red Wolves having most of the possession.

The formation also opened up early chances for FC Tucson. Midfielder Guillermo Delgado had his first strike, a rocket from the edge of the box, in the ninth minute.

In minute 25, a crowded FC Tucson advance into the Chatanooga box ended with a defender handling the ball. Jones went to the spot and easily sent it past the Chatanooga keeper for his first goal for the team and his first goal as a professional.

Ten minutes later, an FC Tucson free kick taken by Guillermo Delgado went straight at the goal, only to get batted away by Red Wolves keeper Alex Mangels. It ended up at the feet of Kody Wakasa, who tapped it in for FC Tucson’s second.

“It was the easiest goal I’ve ever scored in my life,” said Wakasa after the match.

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Both second half goals were scored by Devyn Jambga. His first came in minute 66, after Jones had a middle range shot that hit the post. Jambga recovered the ball and shot it past the keeper.

Zach Wright delivered a pass to Jambga in minute 75, who left footed it into the goal from inside the six yard box.

It wasn’t just that it was a four-goal win, but being sharp after scoring, said goal scorer Kody Wakasa.

“In the beginning of the season, we were prone to let in goals right after we scored,” he said. “We made adjustments and made sure that the next five or ten minutes we would switch on.”

Finishing chances and shutting things down were things that coach Darren Sawatzky had admitted were problems in past matches. As much as he celebrated a 4 - 0 win, one play that was indicative of the team’s improvements was not listed on the score sheet.

In minute 42, goalkeeper Phillip Ejimadu had to come off his line, leading to two shots on what seemed to be an undefended goal. However, Kyle Venter got back to save both shots.

“My favorite play of the game,” he said. “Zach (Wright) gave up an unfortunate ball on the sideline and they countered on us on an unset defense. Every one of the players on the field were working to get back behind the ball. Phillip came out, made himself big so the guy had to get around him. Guys recovered behind and were able to clear it.”

“That’s a team save,” he said. “Venter did an excellent job, but that’s a team effort. That’s growth for us.”

FC Tucson’s next match is in Toronto on Friday, when they meet up with Toronto FC II. They next play at home on May 31 against Orlando City B.

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Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.com

FC Tucson players react as Chattanooga defender Jonathan Caparelli handles the ball in the box in the first half.