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Filet of Sol: FC Tucson dispatches Albuquerque with trio of goals

Pinheiro drives offense with 3 assists

FC Tucson posted a decisive win over rivals Albuquerque Sol FC on Saturday night at Kino North Stadium. The local squad won by 3 - 1 over the visitors from Duke City.

Alfonso Pinheiro and Danny Musovski haven’t had a lot of time on the field together, but pairing them up in this game paid off in minute 26 when Musovski scored a header delivered by Pinheiro. The two connected again in minute 44, this time Pinheiro delivered a pass from wide left of the keeper. Musovski only needed to lightly touch the ball with his foot to direct it into the goal past a helpless Sol keeper.

Pineiro decided to spread the love a little bit for a goal in stoppage time. This time, he dished it to Moshe Perez, who cut through three defenders to tap the ball in from point blank range.

If Albuquerque wanted a second-half comeback, it likely would have come through midfielder Grayson DuPont, an Alabama native who plays for the University of New Mexico. DuPont was often the one holding the ball of cutting through the midfield. Unfortunately for both DuPont and his team, a run in with Tucson’s Kevin Blackwood just past the hour mark left DuPont on the ground bleeding and with what looked to be a neck injury. DuPont was taken to the clubhouse for treatment.

It took until stoppage time for the fourth goal to come. Unfortunately for the local boys, it came from a former FC Tucson player. Albuquerque’s Tommy Ramos, who played for Phoenix FC and FC Tucson, headed the ball past Lucas Vallilo to finally put his team on the scoreboard.

FC Tucson’s next two matches are also against Albuquerque. They travel to New Mexico to play them on Saturday, and return home for a match against them on Monday.

FC Tucson coach Jonathan Pearlman has been looking for a 90-minute performance from his side, and, except for the lapse that allowed Ramos to score (which came after the 90-minute mark, to be precise), he felt like he got one.

“That 90-minute performance is our white rhino,” said Pearlman. “You know it exists. You know it’s out there There’s a couple left...We want that performance.”

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Unfortunately, the team will be losing Musovski as well as another forward, Daniel Krutzen. The team will, however, be picking up Robert Ferrer, a junior at Florida Gulf Coast who scored three goals last season.

The win puts the team on top of the table eight points clear of second place Colorado Rapids U-23. The remaining matches are two against Albuquerque, two against BYU and on against Colorado. BYU was the most troublesome of that bunch, and the upcoming matches leave Pearlman confident of ending on top.

“Six more points and it’s ours, unless someone goes on a bizarre run,” said Pearlman. “I’d like to get six points against Albuquerque because I don’t want to have to get six points on BYU. That’s a tough place to play.”

Ted Prezelski writes about all things soccer, fútbol and piłka nożna for TucsonSentinel.com and at the blog How Flair is Punished (mindingthe.net).

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Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.com

FC Tucson striker Afonso Pinheiro fires an early shot at the Albuquerque goal.