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No Canada! FC Tucson makes short work of Toronto FC II

Wheeler-Omiunu, Vega and Jones all make score sheet

FC Tucson played a dominant game against Toronto FC at Kino North Stadium on Wednesday night, defeating Toronto FC II 3 - 1 in front of 1,772 home fans.

It only took five minutes for midfielder Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu to score his first, a shot from just outside the box that beat goalkeeper Yann-Alexandre Fillion.

Fifteen minutes later, Raheem Somersall sent the ball to Devin Vega, who had been advancing into Toronto's goal box. Vega's shot passed inches over Fillion's outstretched foot and extended his team's lead to 2 - 0.

The team's third goal came from a shot from Jordan Jones, who found himself alone in the midfield 45 yards from goal. It was the former St. Louis forward's second goal of the season.

Toronto had a strong chance minutes later when Jordan Perruzza had a tussle with Tucson's Austin Ledbetter and Lance Batista. The referee gave a free kick from outside the box, but Jordan Faria's kick was sent clear by the defense.

Toronto did a better job holding the ball as the second half started, but Tucson had a chance to extend the lead in minute 65 with a free kick from Devin Vega. His shot hit the wall.

Toronto's work paid off in minute 74 when Griffin Dorsey found himself at the end of a pass right in front of Tucson's goal. Dorsey got jostled by defender Kyle Bjornethun. Both players went to the ground, but the ball sputtered into the goal. After the play, Lance Batista tried to hold on to the ball to return it to the center circle and got into a tussle with three Toronto players. He got an admonition from the referee before play could restart.

In the end, the goal was credited as an own goal.

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The win puts FC Tucson in 6th place, only two points out of the top four and playoff contention. The team begins a long road trip with a game against Lansing Ignite FC on July 13.

'It worked out for us'

The match was the third against Toronto FC II, but FC Tucson's first win. The first meeting between the two squads came in Tucson's home opener. A late goal from Toronto's Jordan Hamilton (now with the senior squad) left the locals with a tie. A bit of revenge against the Canucks for spoiling the home opener may have been on the minds of fans, but players approached things differently.

"It was important, but I wouldn't say it was more important than any other win," said midfielder Wheeler-Omiumu. "In a long season, if you get into revenge, you end up focusing too much on one particular moment...you have to step back and see the bigger picture."

The team had a situation they haven't had to deal with a lot of: ending the first half with a lead, and a strong one at that. Wheeler-Omiunu explained the second half doctrine.

"First five, you come out and you make sure if there is a goal scored, it's going to be yours. First fifteen, you make sure if there is a goal scored, it's going to be yours," he said. "Then, three goals up, you start thinking about managing the game. Not taking pressure, still trying to be the aggressor."

Two of Tucson's three goals came from outside the box. These goals were a result of Tucson's reaction to Toronto's tactics, said forward Jordan Jones.

"One of the things we noticed was that they gave us a lot of space in the middle," said Jones. "We like to take advantage of space like that and luckily it worked out for us."

"The guys pressed well, and we executed on the counter-press," said coach Darren Sawatzky. "The first two goals came from us pressing correctly and then attacking space...I'm happy with it."

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Curtis Dutiel

Devyn Jambga battles with Toronto's midfield