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After winning their opening game of the Dallas Cup, RSL-AZ went into their second game against Dallas Texans who also won their opening game. The winner of this contest would be in the driver’s seat going into the final group game on Wednesday as only one team from each group advances.
RSL-AZ’s starting XI vs Texans: Elijah Evans, Santi Carrillo, Brandon Marquez, Corey Nemeth, Jon Zabasajja, Tigran Tiraturyan, Andrew Brody, Jose Hernandez, Coco Navarro, Aidan Tucker and Luis Barazza.
Like the day before, weather conditions were not ideal. A constant wind affected the entire match which gave each team a clear advantage when they were attacking the goal on the south end of the pitch.
RSL was not as sharp as the day before when the game kicked off however they did manage to keep possession in the Texans half. Though this didn’t amount to anything as the Texans stayed back and absorbed RSL’s attack in the early parts of the game.
Things changed for RSL in the 25th minute when Tigran Tiraturyan took a shot from the left-wing. The Texans GK blocked the low shot and failed to clear it out of the danger zone in front of the net. Aidan Tucker pounced on the loose ball and took a shot that was blocked. He picked up the loose ball again and was able to find the back of the net giving RSL the 1-0 lead.
After the goal the game changed immediately. RSL looked sharper, their communication was better and they were constantly threatening Texan’s goal. However they were unable to grab a second goal before the half ended.
Going into the second half the teams switched sides which meant RSL had to attack going into the wind. Opportunities in the half were extremely limited for RSL as any ball the Texans played forward in the air clearly picked up 20 extra yards due to the wind. Any ball RSL played forward was reduced by 50% and would just drop like a rock after hitting its highest point.
The first chance and only real chance for RSL int eh second half came in the 56th minute when Coco Navarro sent a cross into the box. Andrew Brody headed the ball down to Jose Hernandez who’s shot inside the 18 was blocked by a diving Texans GK.
Bad luck struck for RSL in the 76th minute when the Texans played a ball forward that carried into the box. RSL GK Luis Barazza came out to grab the ball but got tripped up inside the box with a Texans player. This resulted in a PK for the Texans which was blocked moments later by Barazza.
In the 81st minute Texans equalized on a circus shot. The Texans played a ball forward that was once again carried by the wind. Barazza came out and cleared the ball. A Texans players picked up the ball 35 yards out and sent a looping shot in that dropped on the goal line and into the goal.
RSL kept pushing forward as the game went into the final minutes. They were unable to find the go ahead goal, ending the game in a 1-1 draw.
Going into their final group stage game on Wednesday RSL and Texans are tied with 4 points each and a +2 goal differential. There are a multiple number of ways for RSL to advance but the easiest way is for them to win and win by a number of goals to increase the goal differential in case Texans also win and score multiple goals.
Game starts Wednesday at 10:00am Arizona time.
No video today as the wind yesterday made it very difficult for audio to be heard.