TUCSON, Ariz. — FC Tucson put on a dominant performance in the team’s return to Kino North Stadium Friday night, thrashing FC Boulder U23 5-1 behind braces from Moshe Perez and Daniel Krutzen.
To say that the pairing are on fire right now would be a bit of an understatement. In the last two matches, they’ve combined for 8 goals.
In the 12th minute, it looked as though the visitors would make life tough, taking advantage of a defensive slip that was punished by Leigh Veldman to make it 1-0 Boulder early.
After putting away a hat trick in the two sides’ last meeting, Perez picked up right where he left off, getting on the end of a ball slipped into the box by Wedner Delmonte to slot away the equalizer in the 22nd minute.
Three minutes later, it was Krutzen’s turn to make an impact.
The Dutch midfielder found a pocket of space 25 yards out to give Carl Hinkson an option off the right wing, then turned and curled a beautiful shot around a diving Jorge Beceria into the side netting to make it 2-1 just 25 minutes in.
Not to be outdone, Perez once again stepped up, hitting a dipping free kick that rattled the underside of the crossbar to cap off a frenetic five minutes to put the home side firmly in control at 3-1.
“You see what the team can do,” head coach Jon Pearlman said of the quick strikes. “They can put away two or three goals.”
In the second half, the attack continued to terrorize Boulder, as runs by Danny Musovski and Delmonte continued to open up space for Krutzen and Perez.
Boulder did well to shore things up in the back for the bulk of the second half, but were punished in the 77th minute when Musovski found a streaking Krutzen at the back post, who curled it into the far post to make it 4-1.
It pushed the Albany man’s tally on the season to 5, and he has now tallied a goal or assist in each of his five appearances.
“These were my first two goals at home for Tucson, and it felt great,” Krutzen smiled. “We made a little mistake early in the first half and got behind, but we had a great response as a team.”
Albany teammates teamed up for a nightcap in the 88th minute, as Nico Solabarrieta beat his man down the right wing to play a tantalizing ball across the face of goal that was hammered away by Afonso Pinheiro.
It was Pinheiro’s first goal of the season after nine a year ago, while Solabarrieta registered his first assist with the club.
The final scoreline marked just the 3rd time in history that the team has scored 5 or more goals in consecutive games, with the last time coming a year ago in wins over Albuquerque and Ventura County.
With his brace, Perez became only the second player to score 5 or more goals over 2 consecutive matches, joining Pinheiro in accomplishing the feat.
Although the outcome looks good in the standings, Pearlman believes there is still much that can be improved on.
“The performance is still a little erratic from what we’d like to see,” he said. “It sounds like I’m nitpicking at 5-1, but the reality is if you want to move on and be a playoff team and get results when you’re not having your best game, you’ve got to defend a little more consistently and have a little more possession.”
The Men in Black enjoy a well-deserved rest before returning to the pitch Saturday, June 17th at 7:00 p.m. as they take on former Southwest Division rivals San Diego Zest FC at home.