Diego Faria gave Phoenix FC a 1-0 lead in it's first ever U.S. Open Cup match, but FC Tucson of the Premier Development League scored twice in the last eight-plus minutes to score a 2-1 win Tuesday night at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson. Phoenix FC was eliminated from the tournament for the American club championship.
After a first half that saw both teams dominate on the attack at different times yet produce no results, the second half action picked up. Phoenix FC goalkeeper Sheldon Parkinson was strong in net for the first 81 minutes, and Faria put in a cross from forward Aaron King in the 63rd minute.
The Wolves appeared headed for victory in front of 910 fans, a good number who traveled down from the Valley of the Sun for the historic match between Arizona's two highest-level clubs.
But Conner Bevans rocketed a shot that glanced off Parkinson's hands and into the net in the 82nd minute to tie the game at 1. A foul in the box against Renan Boufleur in the 86th minute gave FC Tucson a penalty kick, but Bevans - a second-half substitute - saw his shot hit the top of the goal and bounce away.
Just when it appeared Phoenix FC had held on to force overtime, Bevans took a pass from midfielder Saaed Robinson and shot the ball past Parkinson in second-half stoppage time, and mere moments later, the final whistle sounded.
Five Phoenix FC players were issued yellow cards. The Wolves were without suspended goalkeeper Andrew Weber, whose suspension carried over into the U.S. Open Cup from a red card he received while with the Seattle Sounders of MLS in last year's tournament.
Tuesday marked the return of Tucson area native Donny Toia, now with Phoenix FC, to play against his former team. Toia started at outside defender for the Wolves.
Cyprian Hedrick and Anthony Obodai cleared two shots on goal off the end line to save potential goals for FC Tucson. FC Tucson advances to play the San Antonio Scorpions in the next round of the Open Cup on May 21.
The match did not count toward USL PRO standings. The Wolves host the Charlotte Eagles in a regular-season league match on May 23 at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
Tonight's starting lineups:
Phoenix FC: (GK) Sheldon Parkinson; (D) Donny Toia, Cyprian Hedrick, Renan Boufleur, Netinho; (M) Anthony Obodai, Scott Morrison, Peabo Doue, Thomas Ramos; (F) Diego Faria, Travis Bowen; (Reserves) Sheldon Parkinson, Cameron Vickers, Jose Ramos, Reid Schmitt, Elliot Weber, Aaron King, Josh Bento.
FC Tucson: (GK) Dallas Jaye; (D) Edgar Reyna, Greg Carter, Travis Campbell, Tim Harbison; (M) Brandon Zimmerman, Ricardo Velasco, Connor Brandt, Elijah Galbraith-Knapp, Saeed Robinson; (F) Dakota Collins.
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