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 Birmingham Legion FC

Birmingham Draws Against North Carolina

April 14, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Birmingham Legion FC News Release


BIRMINGHAM, Ala - Legion FC came into Saturday's match after a win to Loundon FC, hoping to continue their good form. After a hard-fought match, Legion drew 1-1 with North Carolina FC. NCFC took the lead early with a penalty kick in the 2nd minute, Legion would equalize in the 23rd minute. Both teams withstood the push for the lead.

In the first half, NCFC drew a foul inside the box and were awarded a penalty. Rodrigo da Costa would then go on to score the penalty in the 2nd minute of the game. Collin Martin attempted a header in the 11th minute, but Matt VanOekel prevented the ball from going in with an excellent save. On the Legion side, Prosper Kasim had an amazing left footed shot from the center of the box, but narrowly missed in the 13th minute. A chance for Kobe Hernandez-Foster went over the goal in the 15th minute. In the 20th minute, Enzo Martinez attempted to go for a goal, but was called offside. With an assist from Stefano Pinho, Martinez would then go on to level the score in the 23rd minute with a right-footed shot from the center of the box. North Carolina tried to regain the lead, but Legion's defense held them off.

Legion started the second half with an energizing sense of confidence. The first big chance of the half came from North Carolina's Louis Pérez in the 48th minute. Julian Placias made a run toward the goal but was called offside. In the 57th minute, VanOekel made an amazing save to deny Pérez from giving North Carolina the lead.

Legion made a couple of subs in the 59th minute, Dawson McCartney for Stefano Pinho and Miguel Perez for Alex Crognale. Later in the 69th minute, Tabort Etaka Preston entered for Prosper Kasim.

"In the second half, especially when we made a couple of changes, I felt like our dynamics came out a little bit more," said Head Coach Soehn. "Yet we created and we still weren't clinical in the times we needed to be."

Legion had a chance to score in the 65th minute, but Dawson McCartney was called offside by the officials. Tyler Pasher's left-footed shot nearly gave Legion the lead in the 70th minute. In the 79th minute, it was North Carolina's turn to attempt to score, but Ezra Armstrong missed from just outside the box. Van Oekel made another save from a shot by Garrett McLaughlin in the 81st minute.

After five minutes of stoppage time, the game ended with no further significant attempts on goal.

Legion FC will host the Chattanooga Red Wolves this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the University of Montevallo in the third round match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

"We're going to get back to work, and we're going to look at Chattanooga and make sure we understand what they're about," said Soehn. "We're going to roll up our sleeves and get right back to work."

Box Score 1st Half 2nd Half

NC 1 1

BHM 0 0

Goals:

North Carolina: 2'- Costa

Birmingham: 23'- Martinez

Line-Ups:

Birmingham: Van Oekel, Murana, Mensah, Kavita, Kasim (Etaka, 69'), Pasher, Martinez, Paterson, Crognale (Perez, 59'), Hernandez-Foster, Pinho (McCartney, 59')

North Carolina: McGuire, Pelayo (Washington, 89'), Craig, Malou, Mentzingen (Brewer, 63'), Armstrong, Maldonado, Martin, Placias (Anderson, 63'), da Costa (McLaughlin, 71') , Pérez (Servania, 62')

Discipline:

31' Paterson (Yellow)

58' Martinez (Yellow)

90+5' Perez (Yellow)

What's Next

The club will kick off its U.S. Lamar Hunt Open Cup run this week. Legion FC will host the Chattanooga Red Wolves this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the University of Montevallo. The match will be streamed on usopencup.com.


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