National Championships Day 2 – Tuzos Advance to Semifinals
DALLAS (Wednesday, July 26, 2017) – It was another positive day for the two Arizona teams at the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships as Tuzos Academy 02 Boys qualified for the U15 Semifinals with a 1-0 victory and Scottsdale Blackhawks 00 Girls picked up a big point in a 1-1 draw.
In the early portions of the Tuzos match, their opponent, Boca OC 02 White (CA), had a few chances but couldn’t crack the Tuzos stout defense. As Tuzos settled in, their passing efficiency increased and the breakthrough came in the 30th minute when Jason Villaba, on the touchline, sent a cross to the back post. A poor clearance by Boca allowed Angel Ramirez to pounce on the ball. Off-balance, he fired a shot that traveled back to the spot where Villaba had original crossed the ball. Unmarked, Villalba tapped home the opening goal. Tuzos almost went up another goal two minutes later but a player was ruled offside.
Tuzos maintained possession down the stretch and limited the Boca shots to unfavorable opportunities until the final minutes of the match when things got a tad crazy. Boca was awarded an indirect free kick inside the box in the 79th minute. Tuzos lined 10 players on the line and as the kick came in Tuzos players rushed to the ball and it was deflected out for a corner. The ensuing corner was headed over by Boca and Tuzos held on for the 1-0 victory. Tuzos has qualified for the semifinals which will be played on Saturday, July 29. They play St. Louis Scott Gallagher in the final group stage match tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. Arizona time. Tuzos needs a win or draw in this match to win the group.
The Blackhawks jumped out to a solid start and almost had an early goal against Sporting Omaha FC Elite (NE) in the 7th minute when Hannah Hale’s shot from distance hit the crossbar. The Blackhawks enjoyed long periods of possession, but just couldn’t find the right final ball.
It all came together in the 58th minute when Lindsay Shipley fired in a cross from the right side. Abigail Furtmann went up for the header, but just missed the chance. Hale, trailing the play, chested the ball down and extended her leg for a goal right before the Omaha goalkeeper could snag it out of the air. Blackhawks continued to press and on the other side of the half an amazing save by Kendyll Humphreys down the stretch kept the lead. Unfortunately, Omaha was able to pull a goal back in the 83rd minute and the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Blackhawks are the current leaders in their group and they need a win or draw over Celtic FC tomorrow to advance to the semifinals. Tomorrow’s match will kick off at 11:00 a.m. Arizona time.
Tomorrow’s matches will not be streamed and if fans would like to follow the action they can follow the matches on the AYSA twitter feed.