FC Tucson showed resiliency in their match with South Georgia Tormenta FC, as they played 52 minutes down a man to preserve the 1-0 win Saturday night at Optim Health System Field in Statesborough, Ga.
“This is a resiliant group,” FC Tucson coach Jon Pearlman said. “It took a really workmanlike performance, just the absolute commitment to running and defending.”
The road win gives FC Tucson (2-4-1 with seven points) the much needed three points it needed, putting it at seven total, but is still in the three-way tie for 11th place in the USL League One with Union Omaha and Forward Madison.
“We just talked about everywhere we’d go tactically,” Pearlman said. “And to just understand that three points were out there and they were going to have to roll up there sleeves and do things they weren’t used to.”
Goal keeper Carlos Merancio was phenomenal in the box as he saved four shots on target for the night, giving FC Tucson the cleansheet. Merancio was credited with four saves.
Tyler Allen score the lone goal of the match on the 36th minute. Allen got a hold of the ball after a clearance by FC Tucson was made and he launched it from far beyond the penalty box, hitting the top left corner of the goal and just out of reach of Tormenta’s goal keeper.
FC Tucson’s Tevin Shaw was then ejected from the match after receiving a red card at the 38-minunte mark.
Despite the setback, FC Tucson’s defense remained firm and did not let Tormenta FC score a goal for the entirety of the match.
The defensive backline of Jacob Crull, Luca Mastrantonio, Kaelon Fox and Tyler Moss preserved FC Tucson’s first shutout of the season.
FC Tucson will look to continue its winning ways with another road test. It will play Forward Madison on Saturday at Breese Stevens Field in Madison, Wis., at 5 p.m..
A Watch Party is at Brother John’s Beer Bourbon and BBQ’s, which held its first Watch Party Saturday as fans watched the club turn away Tormenta.
“Getting three points like this on the road, the spirit of the core has been there,” Pearlman said. “We knuckled down and gave everything we could for the badge and for each other. It’s going to take a mental and physical effort like that again in Madison.”