FC Tucson and the Richmond Kickers combined for 29 shots in a 0-0 draw Saturday night at Kino Sports Complex.
FC Tucson controlled the majority of play in the first half, getting seven shots off, two of which hit the target, while Richmond failed to put a shot on frame. The best chance of the first half came when Andrew Wheeler Omiunu struck a stinging shot from distance in the 23rd minute, but Akira Fitzgerald was equal to it and made a diving save to keep the score level.
The game opened up in the second half, with both sides pushing hard for an opening goal. In end-to-end action, the teams combined for 20 shots, which forced Fitzgerald to make five saves and his counterpart Carlos Merancio Valdez to make three.
Joe Gallardo nearly put the visitors in front in the 56th minute from a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. Gallardo curled the free kick over the wall, but his shot struck the crossbar and stayed out.
Jordan Jones created a chance at the other end minutes later, holding off his defender and turning at the top of the penalty area before firing a shot towards goal that fizzed just over the crossbar.
FCT captain Kyle Venter was shown a second yellow card in the 74th minute after tripping up Charles Boateng who looked to be in on goal. Tucson played down a man for ten minutes before Richmond’s Conor Shanosky was given a straight red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity in the 84th minute. The Kickers lost another player three minutes later when Wahab Ackwei was issued a second yellow card for dissent following a foul.
After a flurry of disciplinary action, neither side could find the back of the net and the match ended in a 0-0 draw. Fitzgerald earned his eighth clean sheet of the season in the match while Merancio Valdez earned his first.
The draw does little to help either side in the race for the playoffs. Tucson remains in seventh place, four points out of fourth place prior to Forward Madison FC’s match tomorrow night. Richmond, meanwhile, could be eliminated from playoff contention by the end of the weekend depending on Madison’s result.
Tony Walls’ second-half goal helped Chattanooga Red Wolves SC to a 2-1 win over Orlando City B Saturday night at David Stanton Field.
Playing at home for the first time in a month, the Red Wolves jumped out to a first-half lead in the 34th minute after Amirgy Pineda found Sito Seoane in space on the right flank. Seoane received the pass and beat his defender at the corner of the 18-yard box before striking a left-footed shot towards goal. Seoane’s shot took a favorable deflection and found the bottom corner of Christian Herrera’s goal for his fifth of the season.
Orlando equalized on the stroke of halftime through Leonardo Simas. The Brazilian defender bullied his way into the penalty area, bouncing off three would-be tacklers before slotting a shot past Alex Mangles to score his second goal of the season.
Chattanooga regained the lead in the 54th minute after OCB failed to fully clear Pineda’s service from a free kick in the attacking third. Josue Soto picked up the failed clearance just outside the 18-yard box and beat his defender to the endline before serving a left-footed cross towards the back post. Tony Walls, who found himself unmarked inside the 18-yard box, nodded Soto’s cross past Herrera for his second goal of the season.
Both clubs were reduced to ten men in the middle of the second half, with Simas being sent off in the 67th minute followed by Chattanooga’s Leo Folla in the 74th minute. Simas and Folla were shown second yellow cards for dangerous tackles on two separate plays.
The Red Wolves defended well following Walls’ go-ahead goal early in the second half. Orlando failed to get a shot off in the final 30 minutes of the match and dropped its tenth straight match. OCB will have two more chances to break its losing streak with matches against Greenville Triumph SC and the Richmond Kickers to close out the season.
The win moves Chattanooga into fifth place, tied on points with Forward Madison FC prior to their match against North Texas SC tomorrow night. The Red Wolves will look to move into the top four next week when they host the Kickers.
Lansing Ignite FC and South Georgia Tormenta FC played to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
After both sides created quality chances throughout the first 40 minutes of the match, Lansing opened the scoring just before halftime. Kevin Coiffic played a lofted through ball towards Nick Moon who was making a run in behind from the right flank. Moon drove towards the endline before cutting the ball back and beating his defender to create space for a left-footed shot that found the bottom corner of Pablo Jara’s goal from a tight angle. The goal was Moon’s sixth of the season.
Pato Botello Faz nearly double the hosts’ lead in the 51st minute after Elma N’For found him with a cross three yards from goal, but his header missed the target and the lead remained at one goal.
Substitute Mikie Rowe snuck in behind the Lansing back three and drew Tormenta FC level in the 67th minute. Conner Antley found Rowe with a clever pass after he slipped in behind the Ignite center backs and Rowe calmly finished past goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland to score his third goal of the season.
Lansing came close to regaining the lead several times in the final 20 minutes, with N’For, Coiffic, and Alex Bruce all narrowly missing chances. Coiffic came closest to scoring, but his headed effort from a corner kick was cleared off the line in the 87th minute by Nick Wells.
The draw extends the second-place Ignite’s lead on third-place Greenville Triumph SC to six points with one match remaining in the regular season. Lansing will host Forward Madison FC on the final weekend of the regular season, but could clinch the No. 2 seed in the USL League One Playoffs next week depending on Greenville’s results.
Tormenta FC dropped to sixth place with the draw, following Chattanooga’s win over Orlando City B Saturday night. The South Georgia side is still alive in the playoff race, but will need to get three points next week in Canada against TFC II if they’re going to finish in the top four.