Supporters of the Fort Worth Vaqueros began a chant set to the tune of Winter Wonderland but instead cried out, “Walking in Arturo Wonderland.”
The song was a tribute to Fort Worth goalkeeper Arturo Sanchez, who secured his second shutout of the season in a 1-0 win against the Joplin Demize (4-1-1, 13 points) at Texas Wesleyan’s Martin Field.
The victory marked the first of the season for the Vaqueros (1-2-2, five points).
“I thought we played the way we were capable of playing,” Vaqueros coach Mark Snell said. “We had a little soul searching after Thursday [a 5-0 loss], which I thought was uncharacteristic. This is the way this team is capable of playing.”
Fort Worth opened the scoring early in the match with a fourth-minute strike.
Vaqueros outside back Austin Stewart picked up his second assist of the year on the goal. Stewart fed captain Tyler Humphrey, who beat a Joplin defender and then unleashed for his first goal of the season.
Joplin defeated Fort Worth 2-1 in Missouri on May 23, so it was a bit of payback for the Vaqueros.
Joplin finished the game short-handed when a Demize player was ejected in the 86th minute.
“It was a tough game,” Humphrey said. “We got our breakthrough finally in the first half. We ground out the victory and we’ve got to keep the momentum going.”
The Vaqueros are on the road next weekend, with a Friday stop in Houston against the Regals and a Sunday game in San Antonio against the Corinthians.