FC Tucson: Jaramillo brace earns men win despite defensive woes
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FC Tucson: Jaramillo brace earns men win despite defensive woes

Men get win and loss; women travel to Yuma

FC Tucson 1 – Real Colorado Foxes 2

Scoring summary: FCT - Ramos 90+; RCF - Jamir pk 7', Arrubla 56'

Rain and lightning delayed the start of Friday’s match for a half-hour. It may have been an omen.

RC Foxes scored first when Jeff Jennings was taken down in the box. FC Tucson players thought it was a soft penalty, but nonetheless, Miguel Jamir converted and put his team on the board in minute 7.

Despite two strong chances from FC Tucson’s David Clemens, the local boys ended the first half without a goal.

The Foxes reasserted themselves after the break and their aggressive ways earned them another goal in minute 56, this time from Chandler-born Danny Arrubla.

In the dying minutes of the match, Ozzie Ramos finally got Los Tucsonenses on the board. The team thought they could equalize when they were awarded a corner kick, but the referee blew the whistle before it could be taken.

The win marks the first time Real Colorado beat FC Tucson. The team is much improved over last season, having won only two matches in 2014.

FC Tucson 4 – Real Colorado Foxes 3

Scoring summary: FCT - Nicklaw 25', Turner pk 29', Jaramillo 60', 65'; RCF - Stratton 58', Jaime 76', Wheeler 89'

Saturday’s rematch with RC Foxes saw an offensive explosion for FC Tucson, but defensive woes nearly cost the locals the match.

Travis Nicklaw, just back from time with the Guam national team, opened the scoring for Tucson. Michael Turner extended the lead on a penalty kick after he was tripped in the box minutes later. As the half closed, Tucson looked to be cruising to a win.

There was a bit of a scare when Colorado’s Cody Stratton curled a ball into the corner of the net, far from FC Tucson keeper Thomas Olsen’s hands. Tucson forward Nestor Jamarillo calmed those fears with two goals, leaving, it seemed, Colorado too far back to threaten any further.

“When we were up 4-1, I thought the three points were in the bag. We were playing really well going forward,” said coach Rick Schantz.

Going forward was fine, but loose defending let RC Foxes score two more goals. The second, where it appeared that Colorado’s Shane Wheeler tacked the ball out of Olsen’s hands, proved to be the first in a string of outrages for FC Tucson fans as the match moved into stoppage time.

The teams battled in stoppage time with neither one having any idea of how much time was left. The game got chippier as the seemingly interminable extra minutes wore on. The referee blew his whistle as a Colorado player kicked the ball into a group of personnel on the sidelines, causing a brawl that involved most of the players on the field.

Jeered by fans, Colorado left the field six points out of playoff position but four matches to play. FC Tucson is in second place with 19 points and next faces first place Albuquerque Sol on July 4.

FC Tucson versus Arizona Strikers FC

Desert Sun Stadium, Yuma, Sunday, 8 p.m.

FC Tucson’s women’s side has a big empty space in their WPSL schedule right about now, so they are traveling to Yuma to play a friendly with Arizona Strikers FC.

The Strikers play in the W-League, a semi-pro league one step up from Tucson’s WPSL. Their roster includes goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras and Luz Duarte, both of whom have played in the Mexican national team system.

The Strikers are currently in last place in the W-League’s Western Conference with three points out of nine matches.

FC Tucson still sits in second place in the WPSL, but several of their conference opponents have games this weekend.

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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