FC Arizona kicked off its inaugural campaign in style with a 5-0 win over visiting Real San Jose at John D. Riggs Stadium in Mesa.
Both teams struggled to establish rhythm in the first five minutes, but the home side, made up chiefly of former first-flight professionals, soon took control.
The Real San Jose box was peppered by efforts from FC Arizona until finally the hosts broke through on an outstanding free kick by Ignacio “Nacho” Coba in the 14th minute.
The game slowed down after that, with both clubs generating some chances, but FCA would double its advantage five minutes before the half, when Cesar Mexia pounded down the left flank, beating his defender and the keeper with a rocket to the inside of the far post.
Mexia would add his second of the night in the 44th minute, much to the delight of the Rampants supporters group, and the rest of the announced crowd of 2,842.
Chris Sanchez buried a perfect penalty in the 80th minute and a powerful driving goal in the 84th to add the cherry on top.
FC Arizona faces fellow NPSL newcomer Orange County FC on Saturday, March 11 at John D. Riggs.