Goals from Elivelton and Josh Coan backed up Amal Knight’s stellar performance in goal as FC Tucson extended its unbeaten run to three matches with a 2-1 win over Forward Madison FC Wednesday night at Kino North Stadium.
FC Tucson started on the front foot, opening the scoring in the third minute through Elivelton. The hosts attacked quickly down the left flank, with Azaad Liadi and Derrick Silva combining before Silva found Elivelton at the top of the 18-yard box. The Brazilian struck a first-time shot past Philipp Marceta to score his third goal in as many games and give FCT an early 1-0 lead.
Madison had an opportunity to answer immediately as Jiro Toyama skipped past a defender and got to the endline before squaring a driven ball towards Wojciech Wojcik, but the striker couldn’t turn the cross goalward.
The Flamingos continued to press for an equalizer and created another quality chance in the 24th minute this time through Don Smart. The Jamacian winger curled a dangerous ball in behind the Tucson back four towards Paulo Jr. who was free on the back post, but Sam Biek made a brilliant last-second sliding tackle to poke the ball out of danger and keep the visitors off the scoresheet.
Moments later Tucson center back Niall Louge stepped into midfield to intercept an attempted clearance and fired a blistering shot toward goal from 35 yards out, but his long-range effort rang off the left post and stayed out.
Paulo Jr., JC Banks, and Wojcik all forced Amal Knight into three saves in the span of three minutes before Madison finally broke the deadlock. Josiah Trimmingham found Paulo Jr. with a cross from the right flank and the veteran winger headed it past Knight to draw the visitors level just before the break.
A few minutes into the second half, Wojcik connected with a cross from JC Banks, but his headed effort bounced off the crossbar and stayed out.
FC Tucson regained its lead moments later as Liadi found Coan with a cutback. Coan used a clever turn to create space before striking a left-footed shot into the top corner of Marceta’s goal.
Trimmingham was the danger man for Madison again in the 71st minute, rising to connect with Michael Vang’s out-swinging corner kick, but his header sailed just over the crossbar.
The Flamingos came close to a second equalizer again three minutes later when Smart curled a left-footed shot on frame from 15 yards out, but Knight got a strong left hand to it to push the effort out of danger and preserve his side’s one-goal lead.
With the win, FC Tucson moves into sole possession of fifth place in the League One standings, four points off second-place Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. Forward Madison drops to seventh place after suffering consecutive defeats for the first time this season.
TUC (3'): Elivelton (third), assisted by Silva
MAD (40'): Paulo Jr. (second), assisted by Trimmingham
TUC (55'): Coan (first), assisted by Liadi
FC Tucson: September 26 v. Fort Lauderdale CF (H)
Forward Madison FC: September 26 v. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (H)