By Miranda Smith and H. Jose Bosch

The substitutions near the end of the match seemed more like a gesture of good will than a strategic decision.

“Well, we were arguing about it on the bench, whether we were going to sub or not because the guys were playing so well,” said FC Tucson head coach Rick Schantz. “They were saying to me, ‘No, no, leave them all in there.’ And I said, ‘Guys, it’s an exhibition and people are here to see some of these local kids play.’ ”

And it was a local kid, Rincon High Schooler Sadam Ali, who scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute of FC Tucson’s 1-0 win over Chivas USA in front of a standing-room only crowd of 2,414 in the inaugural match at North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex.

“It was really exciting,” Ali said to a horde or reporters following the match. “I’m in high school still and I’m playing (against) a pro team and that’s just too exciting.”

A rough start to the first half of tonight’s match left FC Tucson with very few opportunities to finish.

An offside goal was scored in the 16th minute by Saeed Robinson off a deflection after a free kick outside the box. Then in the 22nd minute Dakota Collins was able to slip through a gap in the Chivas USA defense and get a shot off going just shy of the far post.

The quick offensive transition from Chivas USA put high pressure on FC Tucson later in the half, calling for risky tackles in the box from Travis Campbell and Reid Schmitt. With a strong midfield and defensive line, Chivas USA was able to hold FC Tucson to four shots in the half.

Coming out in the second half, Chivas USA increased their offensive pressure. Chivas capitalized on their opportunities coming from balls picked off in the midfield, taking five shots in the first 20 minutes of the half.

In the 67th minute, FC Tucson goalkeeper Larry Jackson made a huge save, sprawling across the ground to smother Eric Avila’s hard charge toward the net.

Then in the 84th minute, Jackson made his last save of the night, a huge one against a point-blank shot from Matt Fondy just outside of the six-yard box. It was the last good scoring chance for Chivas before the FC Tucson game-winning goal.


11.15.2013: North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex — 7:00 P.M.

Attendance: 2,414


FCT: ’89 22 – Sadam Ali (13 – Ricardo Mardoque)


FCT: 1 – Larry Jackson; 2 – Reid Schmidt, 21 – Devon Grousis, 6 – Travis Campbell, 3 – Kareem Smith; 25 – Gabe Silveira (‘66 16 – Isaac Ikyurav), 9 – Scott Morrison, 17 – Edgar Reyna (’86 13 – Ricardo Mardoque), 23 – David Clemens (’82 12 – Gavino Carranza), 14 – Dakota Collins (’82 8 – Dom Papa); 5 – Saeed Robinson (’86 22 – Sadam Ali)

8 – Dom Papa, 11 – James Urbany, 12 – Gavino Carranza, 13 – Ricardo Mardoque, 16 – Isaac Ikyurav, 19 – Alejandro Gonzalez, 22 – Sadam Ali, 18 – Roman Acosta, Michael Kraus, Mike Duhaney, Stephan Posa

Coach: Rick Schantz

1-Tally Hall (’60, 28-Erich Marscheider),

CHV: 28 – Tim Melia; 33 – Lyle Martin (’68 23 – Fejiro Okiomah), 29 – Andrew Ribiero, 4 – Carlos Bocanegra, 18 – Donald Toia (’63 14 – Bryan De La Fuente); 5 – Carlos Borja (’58 11 – Gabriel Fairfan), 20 – Carlos Alvarez (’58 26 – Matthew Fordy), 21 – Carlo Chueca (’80 16 – Caleb Calvert), 15 – Eric Avila, 19 – Jorge Villafaña; 10 – Erick Torres

Coach: Jose Luis Real


FCT — ’45, 17 – Edgar Reyna; ’71 6 – Travis Campbell

CHV — ’73 11 – Gabriel Fairfan


Sent off


CHV — 

Statistics                                 FCT        CHV

Shots                                          9          16

Saves                                         5         3

Fouls                                          6         9

Corners                                      0         2

Offside                                        4         1

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