Tucson, AZ (June 8, 2013) —By the end of FC Tucson's 1-0 loss to division-leading Fresno Fuego, FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz's analysis was to the point.
"They were better than we were," Schantz said.
FC Tucson wasn't playing OC Blues Strikers anymore and any good feelings about a 9-1 win from Thursday night vanished when the final whistle blew.
Fresno nearly scored less than three minutes into the match but midfielder Conner Brandt threw his chest into the shot and cleared the ball off the line. Moments later Brandt had a free kick outside of the box and curled it at the left upper 90 but drilled the crossbar.
It would be the best chance FC Tucson would have the entire first half. The Fuego neutralized FC Tucson with physical play and timely interceptions. But according to Schantz, FC Tucson players didn't help themselves with some of their decision making.
"What we had Thursday night was everybody was clicking," Schantz said. "Tonight we were two passes when we needed to be three and we were one when we needed to be two."
Schantz also said the players began responding to adversity by doing too much on their own and in some cases holding on to the ball too long. FC Tucson defender Travis Campbell said that the officiating may have also affected the team's play.
"I think our team started playing the referees and their team instead of just playing our game," Campbell said. "We just have to keep playing the game and not let it affect us. Mentally it takes you out of the play for that half second you're yelling at the ref and I do it, too. As a whole, we have to work on it."
Goalkeeper Michael D'Arrigo helped keep the game tied at zero when he made point-blank saves 1v1 within five minutes of each other and neither team had a lead heading into the half.
Then in the 56th minute, following another great save from D'Arrigo, Fresno's Paul Islas knocked in the rebound to score the game-winning goal for the Fuego.
"It's kind of a bummer to come from a 9-1 win, such a high, and then come out here and lose 1-0," Brandt said. "Obviously it's a better team but nine out of 10 times we beat that team and unfortunately today was the one time we lost."
FINAL MATCH STATISTICS
FC TUCSON 0 – FRESNO 1
FF: '56, 10-Paul Islas
Statistics FCT FF
Shots 14 13
Saves 4 8
Fouls 18 11
Corners 5 2
Offside 2 2
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