TUCSON, Ariz. — FC Tucson notched its 50th Premier Development League win in club history Saturday night, dispatching of the Albuquerque Sol 3-1 at Kino Norths Stadium behind goals from Danny Musovski and Moshe Perez.
The match marked the first of three consecutive meetings between the sides, with FC Tucson sitting atop of the Mountain Division heading into Saturday’s clash.
The Sol were coming off two consecutive wins over a good Colorado Rapids U23 side, but still sat at the bottom of the standings.
After a lackluster first half against the San Diego Zest in their last home outing, the Men in Black stepped up the intensity in the opening period this time around.
Brazilian wonder Afonso Pinheiro is known around here for scoring goals. Saturday, it was all about giving them.
Pinheiro found Danny Musovski at the far post with a cross in the 25th minute for a header that was placed so delicately inside the far post, it sent Sol goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu flying into the corner of his net in an attempt to keep it out.
It was more of the same in the 44th minute, as Pinheiro once again found Musovski, who slotted it into the same corner past a diving Beaulieu to make it 2-0 just before the break.
“Going forward this is a good confidence boost,” Musovski said of his brace. “I’m sure we’re going to continue to work on finishing in practice, it’s what we worked on this week and it showed on the field today.”
The scoring would continue before halftime however, as Pinheiro collected his third assist of the night in the 45th minute as he connected with Moshe Perez for the Israeli’s team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Pinheiro’s assist would only prove to add to his Tucson lore. After breaking the single season scoring record in 2016 held by Real Salt Lake forward Ricardo Velazco, he has become the only player in club history to notch three assists in a game in league play.
“It’s awesome to get your name on the board whether it’s a goal or assist, it means you’re helping the team,” Pinheiro said. “For me that’s amazing, and I’m glad the team won the game.”
It was the type of scoring burst that fans have become accustomed to at Kino, as it marked the 300th goal scored in PDL regular season and exhibition play by the club since entering the league in 2012.
Despite a number of chances for the home side in the second half, Albuquerque stood strong, eventually adding a goal of their own in stoppage time as Tom Ramos snapped a header inside the far post to close the night out at 3-1.
With wins in six of their last seven, the Men in Black are now back in contention for the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference, sitting five points behind the Fresno Fuego with a game in hand.
FC Tucson will hit the road for a July 1st clash with the Sol before returning for our 3rd of July Blast against the rivals, featuring post-game fireworks, free team posters for fans in attendance, and the official presentation of the Golden Rattler, awarded to the season series winner.
Fans will have the opportunity to get their posters signed by the entire team after the game, and will be welcomed down onto the field to grab a seat for our spectacular fireworks display.
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