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RECAP: Armada Unleashes On Tulsa, Falls Short in Preseason Scrimmage at Patton Park

Mar 3, 2016

Armada FC Public Relations | March 3, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Armada FC let loose on the Tulsa Roughnecks, bombarding the USL side with heap of scoring opportunities. In the end though, Tulsa capitalized on its limited number of chances to overcome the Armada, 3-2, Thursday during the preseason scrimmage at Patton Park in Jacksonville.

“I thought we created enough chances to score goals,” said Armada FC head coach and technical director Tony Meola. “We knew what we were going to. The effort was really impressive. This has been the hardest week physically. It took a while to get there feet going, but in the end the other team had four chances and scored three goals. That is just sharp.”

Only a minute into the game, Armada forward Danny Barrow broke through the Roughneck defense and ripped a ball just wide while one-on-one with the Tulsa goalkeeper Jake Feener. The Armada continued the sustained pressure making runs on the Roughnecks defense and connecting on a flurry of passes.

However, it was in the ninth minute when Tulsa’s Sammy Ochoa struck first, banking a driving shot just past Armada goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo to put the Roughnecks on the board in the first half. A free kick from Tulsa’s Cristian Mata wedged itself past Armada goalkeeper Sebastian Evers to put the Roughnecks in firm control early into the second half.

Nevertheless, the Armada did not relent and in a brow wiping, “finally,” sort of moment, Armada midfielder Pascal Millien fed a left- footed blast into the right side net, notching the Armada onto the scoreboard and put Jacksonville within one in the 54th minute.

Ochoa restored their two-goal lead heading in another free kick in the 66th minute, but the Armada’s pressure would not concede. In a dazzling display of dribbling, trialist Charles Eloundou continued to build his case, cutting inside and ripping a shot out of Tulsa’s reach into the top right corner of the net and bringing the Armada to within one in the 73rd minute.

However, not even an outbreak of shots, a flurry of crosses and persistent pressure would give the Armada the advantage in the afternoon battle as the team walked off on the short end of the final result.

“We had some chances in first half for sure, but we came out strong in the second half,” said Armada midfielder Junior Sandoval. "We created at least 15 chances and just couldn’t put them away. I think we dominated the game and outplayed them."

He added: “We came out here to play the game and I think we did. We have to get used to putting them in the back of the net. It is preseason, but we know are going to get there. Next game is going to be better.”

The Armada returns to preseason action against another USL opponent, the Charleston Battery, at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.