By FC Arizona
FC Arizona’s NPSL season continued as they hosted Lions United FC in an intense Southwest Conference matchup. Lions United FC kicked off the match, trying to keep the ball in their half. FC Arizona would attack early with Kyle Benjamin sending a surprise shot towards goal, but Lions United’s Paul Jing would be there to make the save.
Just five minutes later FC Arizona would be back on the offensive. Dom Ivovino would play a wide pass to Marlon Atondo who would launch a great left-footed shot to the left side of the goal. This put FC Arizona ahead 1-0. Lions United would earn a corner in the 26th minute, and the ball was sent in by Bryce Watson. It was headed by Edgardo Artero, but it missed the goal wide right.
FC Arizona’s pressure would not let up all throughout the match. and Lions United gave away the ball in the 40th minute. FC Arizona would let off a shot, but it was saved by the Lions United keeper. Lions United would respond with a goal of their own in the 43rd minute. Surik Karamyan would take the ball into left side of the box. A squared pass to Justin Wright would allow a tap-in goal to even things up at 1-1. That score would hold as the teams headed into halftime.
FC Arizona created chances early in the second half when Uche Uzo blasted through the defense in an attempt at goal. Uzo would be fouled and a free kick was awarded to FC Arizona, but there would be no goal for Arizona.
The 69th minute was filled with joy and frustration for FC Arizona. They were awarded a free kick on the left side of the box. Marco Afonso would send a ball to Gabe Waters who would strike it into the net. However, the goal was disallowed for a handball.
Lions United would make a breakthrough in the 88th minute when Luis Gallegos would lose the ball, and Wright would score yet another goal for Lions United.
The dying minutes of the game would be the most intense as FC Arizona had several scoring chances. Two long balls would be sent out by Arizona. Cesar Moreno would gather the ball, but his shot was stopped by Jing. Then Afonso would gather a second ball seconds later and chip over the keeper, but the ball would hit the bar and later be recovered by the Lions United goalkeeper.
In the 90th minute, Lions United set up a counterattack and would score a third goal by way of Justin Wright’s left foot. Wright’s brace would be pivotal, leading Lions United FC to a 3-1 victory over FC Arizona.
Photo Credit: JJ Digos