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Tucson Grabs Victory In Shootout
Defeats San Antonio to advance to third round of Open Cup

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — FC Tucson had done everything it could to beat San Antonio in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. But as the players waited for San Antonio’s Kevin Harmes to take their final penalty kick, all the club could do was rely on their opposition to find out their fate.

Harmes sent his penalty kick into the night sky and FC Tucson moved on to the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after a 2-2 draw in regulation and a 4-3 win in penalty kicks. The win makes FC Tucson the first club in Arizona history to advance to the third round of the U.S Open Cup.

“It’s big time,” said FC Tucson midfielder Ricardo Velazco. “It’s big time for Arizona. It’s big time for the staff, for all the FC Tucson fans and for me. … This goes to Arizona. This goes out to all of Tucson and the supporters who have been behind us. This goes out to all of them.”

FC Tucson was moments from winning the match 2-1 at the end of regulation but a late handball call in the box gave the Scorpions new life as Hans Denissen converted the penalty kick to tie the match.

“I talked to everyone and tried to calm everyone down (and tell them) to play our game,” said Eli Galbraith-Knapp about his reaction to the penalty kick. “And we did. And we came back and fought for 120 minutes and we got the win.”

But the final goal of regulation may not have happened if it had not been for the goalkeeping of Dallas Jaye. In the 59th minute, Jaye leapt to punch a shot over the bar to keep the match 1-1. Then in the 88th minute, Jaye managed to stop a shot from close range before it got tangled in a web of flying legs before finally being cleared.

Even the handball call was the result of a Jaye save. During the sequence, a Scorpions player fired a close-range shot, but Jaye pushed away toward his left before it hit an FC Tucson player for the handball call. Then Jaye made two more big saves in extra time.

“It fires up the team,” said captain Travis Campbell about Jaye’s performance. “That gets the team going. He made some great, huge saves: one-v-one and everything. It was a real big boost for us on the field.”

San Antonio opened the scoring when Harmes came screaming into the box and headed a corner inside the near post past a helpless Jaye. The score remained 1-0 until the 57th minute when Velazco cracked a shot from just outside the box into the bottom corner of the net.

Then in the 64th minute forward Saeed Robinson appeared to score FC Tucson’s second goal of the match but it was then called off because Robinson was caught offside. Three minutes later Conner Bevans found Robinson right at the far post and Robinson tapped the ball in to give FC Tucson a 2-1 lead.

FC Tucson will now play the Houston Dynamo in Houston on Wednesday, May 29 in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.

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