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Legion FC Falls to North Carolina FC

September 2, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Birmingham Legion FC News Release

BIRMINGHAM, AL - Birmingham Legion FC dropped just its second match of the season on Wednesday night, and its first at home in 2020, 2-1 to Group G rivals North Carolina FC.

Coming into the match on short rest following Saturday's match at Charlotte, Legion FC came out in control of the match early, but after a slight deflection off of a Birmingham defender, the first goal came from North Carolina FC's captain, Nazmi Albadawi. In the 24th minute, Hadji Barry found Albadawi at the top of the box and his shot found the top left corner.

Legion FC equalized in the 59th minute thanks to midfielder Prosper Kasim, after substitute Razak Cromwell got the ball down the left flank, picked his head up, and laid the ball off to Kasim around the penalty spot to finish in the top-right corner.

Find the video of Kasim's goal HERE.

The deadlock was short lived, however, as the visitors scored after a BHM foul in the box lead to a penalty kick goal in the 62nd minute. Legion FC continued to fight and had a couple quality chances to nab a point, none more pivotal than its own penalty kick chance in stoppage time following a NCFC handball in the box. Forward Neco Brett, his team's leading goal scorer, stepped up to take the pen, but North Carolina's 'keeper, Alex Tambakis was up to the challenge and made the save to earn his side the win.

"We kinda left it at the end," said Head Coach Tommy Soehn. "In the first half we weren't doing very well trying to break them down and we were too stretched. We organized it at halftime, and I feel like we closed a lot of that. Then it's about making plays at the right time, and you know Neco [Brett] hasn't missed one yet, but today wasn't the day. [North Carolina FC] are a good team. We've always had tight matches with them, and to their credit they pulled out a good win.

"[The message is the] same as always. We can't be too high in the highs and too low in the lows. There's a lot of soccer left, and ultimately we want to finish as high as we can, so we play playoff games at home in front of the home fans."

"We tried to implement the same things we did against Charlotte [on Saturday]," said defender Jonny Dean. "Move the ball from side to side, spread the defense and try to break teams down. [NCFC] were tight and compact in the first half, but we still created chances that we need to capitalize on. Other than that, we need to keep working hard."

Box Score:

1st Half 2nd Half

BHM 0 1

NC 1 1

Goals:

NC - 24' - #10 Nazmi Albadawi (assisted by #92 Hadji Barry)

BHM - 59' - #10 Prosper Kasim (assisted by #30 Razak Cromwell)

NC - 62' - #8 Dre Fortune (P)

Lineups:

BHM - #0 Ford Parker; #24 Jonny Dean, #21 Alex Crognale, #3 Bolu Akinyode, #5 Mikey Lopez ©; #6 Anderson Asiedu, #16 Daigo Kobayashi (55' - #30 Razak Cromwell); #17 Jaden Servania (88' - #20 Braxton Najib), #8 Bruno Lapa, #10 Prosper Kasim (66' - #7 Brian Wright); #11 Neco Brett

NC - #1 Alex Tambakis; #27 DJ Taylor, #20 Conor Donovan, #5 Sam Brotherton, #4 Alex Comsia; #7 Pecka (84' - #21 Daniele Proch); #2 Manny Perez (66' - #31 Steven Miller), #92 Hadji Barry, #8 Andre Fortune (63' - #16 Graham Smith), #10 Nazmi Albadawi ©; #9 Marios Lomis (63' - #11 Robbie Kristo)

The squad is back on the road for a short trip up to Tennessee to face rival Memphis 901 FC on Saturday, September 5 at 7:00PM CT. For live match updates, follow @bhmlegion on Twitter, or tune in as the match will air live on My68 and ESPN+.

The last two home matches of the regular season are scheduled for Saturday, September 12 vs. Charlotte and then Saturday, September 26 vs. North Carolina. Get tickets at bhmlegion.com/tickets, by emailing [email protected], or by calling the Legion FC Ticket Office at 205-791-7145.


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