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OWLS STAY TOP WITH EARLY GOAL AND SHUTOUT

By Jack Yates, 06/28/21, 6:45AM CDT

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PAPILLION, Neb. – The 2021 season has been one of unfinished business for Union Omaha since before it even began. With another home win on Saturday night against FC Tucson and nearly a month at the top of USL League One, the team is on course to reach its lofty goals.

When forward Greg Hurst headed home a Ferrety Sousa cross with only six minutes on the clock, Werner Park erupted. Hurst’s last three home matches have seen rack up five goals – a deadly record if it continues.

The comforts of home will undoubtedly continue for the Owls – four of the next five matches will be played at Werner Park, including an important one against in-form Chattanooga Red Wolves on Friday, July 3. 

“It was nice being back at home again,” said Head Coach Jay Mims. “I know our guys are excited about getting a lot more games at home coming up.”

The team’s all-around game sets the stage well for the big occasions to come. The best defensive record in the league belongs to Union Omaha; the back line that has conceded only seven goals this season is a massive part of the collective’s current standing.

“It’s good to get a zero on the board for a shutout,” said Coach Mims. “We’ve been working on a lot of defensive shape stuff and I was really proud of Daltyn, Jake, [Ferrety] Sousa and Damià – it was a great performance.”

The assist provided by defender Ferrety Sousa was his second goal involvement in as many matches after one of his crosses found the net against Richmond Kickers last weekend. Decisive fullback play in the attacking half has been a theme throughout the campaign for Los Búhos. Viader and Sousa are first and third on the team, respectively, in terms of chances created.

FC Tucson came close to scoring a handful of times, creating nearly the same number of chances as Omaha. Near-misses and one important save by Owls goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu kept the visiting team scoreless for its second successive outing. Forward Deri Corfe missed the net and a diving Nuhu by a foot or less with the last kick of the match.

Tucson remained in 11th place with a 2W, 4L, 3D record in league play.

Union Omaha will welcome Chattanooga Red Wolves to Werner Park on Friday, July 3 at 7 p.m. CT. Last season’s only meeting between the two teams ended in a 2-0 win for Chattanooga, a defeat the Owls will be looking to avenge next week.

Union Omaha (6-1-3)         1 | 0  -  1

FC Tucson  (2-4-3)      0 | 0  -  0

Goals: OMA, Greg Hurst – 6’ (Ferrety Sousa). Shots: OMA 12, TUC 12. Shots on goal: OMA 6, TUC 1. Saves: OMA, Rashid Nuhu – 1; TUC, Wallis Lapsley – 5. Fouls: OMA 17, TUC 12. Corner Kicks: OMA 1, TUC 3. A: 3,315.

Lineups

OMA: GK, Nuhu; D, Viader; D, Knutson; D, Crull; D, Sousa; M, Otieno (Scearce 72’); M, Doyle; M, Alihodžić (Firmino 88’); M, Vanacore-Decker (Nfor 90’); F, Hurst ; F, Boyce.

TUC: GK, Lapsley; D, Schenfeld; D, Barnathan; D, Pena; D, Fox; D, Knox; M, Dennis; M, Ferriol; F, Adams; F, Corfe; F, Bedoya.

Misconduct Summary

OMA: Otieno 42’ (Yellow Card), Knutson 78’ (Yellow Card), Firmino 90’ + 2’ (Yellow Card). TUC: Ferriol 45’ + 1’ (Yellow Card), Corfe 61’ (Yellow Card), Fox 90’ + 5’ (Yellow Card).

All game stats are unofficial.