Memphis 901 FC Topped Late by North Carolina FC
MEMPHIS, Tennessee - Memphis 901 FC led 1-0 after a Brandon Allen goal in the 20th minute, but fifth-place North Carolina FC scored goals at the end of each half and snatched a 2-1 win Saturday night at AutoZone Park.
Despite the defeat, 901 FC has recorded a point in eight of its last 13 matches. Saturday's match continued a tough stretch on the Memphis schedule, as the club has played six-straight matches against teams currently in the playoff picture and eight-of-10 overall.
"The mission is still the same," 901 FC head coach Tim Mulqueen said. "We have a very good team, and I think we are only going to get better. I think it was a tough task to have three games in a week with two on the road against playoff teams. I thought we did enough to win the game tonight, but we just didn't take care of the critical moments."
Allen's goal was his third in eight matches for 901 FC (4-11-7, 19 pts) and came in front of the goal off a free kick started by Marc Burch.
With the first half in stoppage time, North Carolina (11-5-7, 40 pts) squeaked in a goal that bounced just in front of Memphis goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell. A few minutes after the halftime intermission Allen nearly had a second goal for 901 FC, but it was waived off on a handball.
The two sides went back and forth in the second half, and Nazmi Albadawi broke the stalemate in the 88th minute when he connected from outside the box past Caldwell.
"It was tough to concede right before the half," Memphis midfielder Marcus Epps said. "We felt good about the half, we felt like we were getting after them. It tough to take the goal there, but they boys stayed positive. We knew were going to get another one if we stayed with the same game plan. We had high spirits going into the second half, we just have to win the next one."
"At the end of both halves, it's not even a question of how good you are or well you played, it's about managing moments," 901 FC defender Liam Doyle echoed. "I don't think you can really teach that. We played well, it's just a mentality thing. You need to close out the half and if you don't, you'll get punished and we did twice."
Memphis had 15 shots in the match, five of which were on target, and 901 FC had eight corner kick opportunities. Just like the matchup earlier this season in North Carolina, possession was nearly equal at 51 percent-49 percent in favor of North Carolina.
Caldwell finished the match with four saves.
901 FC now hits the road for four-straight matches through the beginning of September, starting next Saturday at Birmingham Legion FC at 7:00 p.m. Memphis' next match in Downtown Memphis is Saturday, Sept. 7 against Swope Park Rangers.
Tickets for the remainder of the season are available at www.memphis901fc.com/tickets.
For the latest information on the team, visit www.memphis901fc.com and follow the club on social media on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Memphis 901 FC Starting XI
1 (GK) Jeff Caldwell, 3 (D) Abdi Mohamed, 8 (D) Marc Burch (c), 32 (D) Liam Doyle, 22 (D) Wes Charpie, 10 (M) Adam Najem, 6 (M) Dan Metzger, 31 (M) Pierre Da Silva, 23 (M) Leston Paul, 30 (M) Marcus Epps, 29 (F) Brandon Allen
Subs: 28 (F) Jochen Graf, 17 (M) Ewan Grandison, 2 (D) Morgan Hackworth, 11 (F) Lagos Kunga, 24 (GK) Scott Levene, 20 (D) Todd Pratzner, 9 (F) Luca Uccello
Substitutions: 62' Ewan Grandison on, Leston Paul off... 71' Lagos Kunga on, Abdi Mohamed off... 90' Jochen Graf on, Pierre Da Silva off
North Carolina FC Starting XI
1 (GK) Alex Tambakis, 3 (D) Sam Brotherton, 23 (D) Alex Comsia, 27 (D) D.J. Taylor, 33 (D) Aaron Guillen (c), 8 (M) Dre Fortune, 10 (M) Ben Speas, 11 (M) Yamikani Chester, 16 (M) Graham Smith, 21 (M) Nazmi Albadawi, 7 (F) Donovan Ewolo
Subs: 6 (M) Austin da Luz, 15 (F) Justin Rennicks, 17 (D) Timmy Mehl, 18 (F) Robert Kristo, 22 (D) Caleb Duvernay, 24 (GK) Darrin MacLeod, 31 (M) Steven Miller
Substitutions: 66' Steven Miller on, Yamikani Chester off... 71' Justin Rennicks on, Andre Fortune off... 89' Austin da Luz on, Benjamin Speas off
Images from this story
Memphis 901 FC head coach Tim Mulqueen
Wes Charpie of Memphis 901 FC vs. North Carolina FC
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