Corpus Christi FC continued their fantastic record on the road with an impressive performance in Grand Prairie against Texas United, as the Sharks registered their first clean sheet of the season in the 2-0 victory.
On what was a beautiful, yet sweltering evening at the AirHogs Stadium, Corpus Christi FC were aiming for yet another win away from the Coastal Bend.
This game started as a close affair, with Texas United initially threatening the Corpus defensive line. However, on what turned out to be a sensational debut performance, goalkeeper Victor Villareal managed to keep the men in red at bay, with the help of the solid defensive partnership in Tevin Lessey and Alain Peralt and the magnificent stability from Javier Varona and Mckinley Smith.
As time went on in the first half, the Sharks began to dictate play, with Stefan Lukic, Stanley Smith and Ollie Wright combining exceptionally well to cause trouble to the United side.
These troublesome efforts quickly paid off for the Sharks, with some beautiful link-up play between Lukic and Wright, forcing a tackle – which the referee deemed unacceptable – and the man in charge pointed to the spot.
Our number 10, Wright, neatly slotted the ball home, sending the keeper the wrong way and the Sharks led 1-0 just before the half.
In what was a cagey and steady first 45 in Grand Prairie, the game continued in a similarly slow and tight affair after the interval. In a game like this, the next goal was going to be vital.
The chances continued to come to the Sharks, with the fresh legs of Karlo Lopez and Noah Wagner immediately injecting some pace and fluidity into the CCFC side.
With Villareal at the opposite end still looking impossible to beat, at the other side of the field, S. Smith threatened and Mckinley Smith down the flanks looked unbeatable when he got into full speed.
Soon after, a piece of fantastic work between S. Smith and Inaki Aldao in the United box, led to the Argentine, Aldao being brought down and CCFC was handed another PK.
This time, it was the Serbian, Lukic to step up, and, in typical Lukic style, he exquisitely slotted home to give Dr. Sebastian Giraldo’s men a comfortable 2-0 lead in the match.
Shortly after, with the vital showdown against Brilla in mind, Giraldo rang the changes, and Salifu Jatta, Gabriel Quesada and Adrian Villaneuva entered the fray.
The fresh legs began to trouble United even more, and Jatta was desperately unlucky not to add a third, as his almighty pace steamed past the home side’s defense, but his shot narrowly missed the goal.
As the game went into the final stages, Villareal produced another exceptional save to keep the Sharks in a commanding position, and Corpus would finish the game two goals to the good, whilst registering their first USL clean sheet of the season.
Giraldo and his men now sit third in the table, having played a game less than leaders Brilla, adding extra value to the game on Friday.
Up next for the Sharks is the vitally important game against Brilla on Friday – get your tickets here: CorpusCFC.com/tickets