A crowd of more than 3,000 fans braved a chilly Thursday night at Chukchansi Park to watch the Fresno Fuego host popular Armenian club Ararat Yerevan FC.
Ararat won the preseason friendly 1-0, pleasing a pro-Ararat crowd that waved dozens of Armenian flags, large and small.
Davit Hovsepyan scored in the 42nd minute, smashing home a cross from Oumarou Kaina.
Things got chippy just a few minutes later as the Fuego’s Alvaro Nogales and Ararat’s Gorik Khachatryan got into an altercation during a corner kick. Both received yellow cards.
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Nogales and Khachatryan continued battling for position ahead of the corner, with Khachatryan sent off after receiving a second yellow.
Ararat played the rest of the way with 10 players, but held on for the shutout behind a clean sheet for goalkeeper Gevorg Prazyan in front of 3,137.
The Fuego continue their preseason Wednesday, hosting the defending North American Soccer League champion New York Cosmos.
EXHIBITION: FRESNO FUEGO VS. NEW YORK COSMOS (NASL)
- Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. at Chukchansi Park
- Tickets: $11-$25 for adults, $11 for children. Available for purchase at bit.ly/FuegoArarat or Chukchansi Park Box Office. Prices increase $5 on event day.
- Of note: Fuego play three preseason matches in 14 days, also hosting Sacramento Republic FC (USL) on March 3.