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 North Carolina FC

North Carolina FC earns first win of 2024

March 29, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
North Carolina FC News Release


CARY, N.C. - North Carolina FC claimed their first win of the 2024 USL Championship season Friday night with a 2-1 result over Hartford Athletic at WakeMed Soccer Park. North Carolina FC improves to 1-1-2 on the year for five points through four weeks.

North Carolina had the run of play for much of the early stages and broke through just shy of the half-hour mark. Oalex Anderson charged past the Hartford back line and forced them into a foul in the box to prevent a clean look at goal. Louis Perez would pinpoint the lower right corner with the ensuing penalty kick to put the home side in front. It was the first goal of the season for Perez after his assist last week.

Anderson would turn goal scorer ten minutes later when Rodrigo Da Costa played a brilliant through ball between the center backs to set the ball on a platter for Anderson to smash into the far side netting. He, too, found his first goal of 2024 after competing for the Golden Boot in USL League One last season. The veteran Da Costa earned his first point with his new side in the process.

The home side had a brilliant look for another in first-half stoppage time when Rafa Mentzingen and Da Costa combined up the right wing and Da Costa played a square-in to Collin Martin, who took a one-time strike from just outside the box to stretch the Hartford keeper into his third save of the night. North Carolina FC carried the 2-0 score into half time.

Hartford slashed the deficit in half in the 72' on a free kick goal from their captain, Jay Chapman, from 30 yards out. Hartford continued to press for an equalizer, hitting a post and piling up shots down the stretch. They had a final chance to level the match in stoppage time, but Jake McGuire dove to his left to haul in a ball with eyes for corner netting. It was one of three saves for McGuire on the night.

Match Notes

Jacori Hayes made his NCFC debut, subbing into the match in the 86'

Nine total yellow cards were shown in the match; five to Hartford and four to NCFC

Transcribed Quotes from NCFC:

Head Coach John Bradford on the team's first win of 2024

"I think that each week we've been improving and maybe we were unfortunate not to get a win last week. And so, for tonight, the message was to keep going and improving and getting better. And I thought the guys played really well, both defending and attacking phases of the game really well. And the only result that they were going to allow themselves to earn was three points. So it's great to get the first win."

Louis Perez on growth of the offense

"We really wanted to make a statement tonight, if I can say that, because we have been training well. We've been getting better and better and finding each other. Obviously, there are some new pieces while I was here with Oalex last year, but it's coming together. We're not there yet. I think we have a lot more but, yeah, we are finding the chemistry."

Oalex Anderson on state of the team and mindset

"I mean, we are here for the same thing. We established that at the beginning of the season that collectively we are here for the same thing. So, for us to get the job done, we have to collectively buy into whatever the coaches ask of us and to do it as one. We also need to be united as a family, you know, and I think it's been really good. But everything's going to take time. We're not going to have success overnight... And I just ask, just to be patient with the guys. But, with time, we're going to get where we want to be."

Up Next:

North Carolina FC hits the road to face Detroit City FC next Saturday, April 6, for a 2 p.m. ET kickoff at Keyworth Stadium. The match will stream live on ESPN+.

Box Score:

NCFC (3-4-2-1): Jake McGuire; Lamar Batista, Paco Craig ©, Justin Malou; Ezra Armstrong, Collin Martin (Jacori Hayes - 86'), Mikey Maldonado, Rafa Mentzingen (Shaft Brewer, Jr. - 79'); Louis Perez (Jaden Servania - 79'), Rodrigo Da Costa (Julien Placias - 86'); Oalex Anderson (Evan Conway - 72').

Subs Not Used: Antonio Carrera, Garrett McLaughlin, Kyrome Lumsden, Adrian Pelayo.

HFD (4-3-3): Paul Walters, Beverly Makangila, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Triston Hodge, Joey Akpunonu, Anderson Asiedu (Ian Shaul - 67'), Jay Chapman ©, Michee Ngalina, Marcus Epps (Enoch Mushagalusa - 67'), Deshane Beckford (Emmanuel Samadia - 72'), Romario Williams (Mamadou Dieng - 67').

Subs Not Used: Greg Monroe, Joe Farrell, Joe Schmidt.

Score:

NCFC: 2

HFD: 1

Goals:

NCFC: L. Perez - 26' (P); O. Anderson - 35' (Da Costa)

HFD: J. Chapman - 72'

Cautions:

NCFC: L. Batista - 44'; R. Mentzingen - 71'; M. Maldonado - 80'; J. Servania - 90+3'

HFD: A. Asiedu - 25'; J. Chapman - 31'; A. Wheeler (AC) - HT; D. Bedford - 69'; E. Mushagalusa - 79')

Ejections:

NCFC:

HFD:

Attendance: 1,465


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