North Carolina FC Tops Birmingham Legion FC 1-0 to Earn First Win of 2020
Cary, NC - North Carolina FC defeated Birmingham Legion FC by a score of 1-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday night, earning their first win of the 2020 season and bringing their record to 1-1-1. Dre Fortune recorded the goal for NCFC, his second this season.
NCFC created several scoring opportunities and continually pressed Birmingham's defense as the first half wore on. In the 23rd minute, Robert Kristo sent a through ball to DJ Taylor who was sprinting towards the box. Taylor received the ball at his feet, firing a dangerous shot just over the crossbar.
Later, in the 33rd minute, a red card was shown to Birmingham midfielder Bolu Akinyode after tripping up Steven Miller and halting an NCFC breakaway in the process.
After ending the first half deadlocked at 0-0, both teams entered the second half eager to get on the board. Finally, in the 51st minute, NCFC received a scoring chance when Taylor received a pass just inside the eighteen, turning on the ball to thread a cross back towards the penalty spot. Fortune received Taylor's cross just inside the box, ripping a shot past Birmingham goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel to put NCFC up 1-0.
"I've been training that finish for as long as I can remember," Fortune said of his goal in a postgame interview. "We're happy to come away with the three points in the end and I'm happy to help the team win."
NCFC continued to build on their momentum in the 79th minute when defender Sam Brotherton buried a shot into the far left corner of the net. However, after a conversation amongst the referees, Brotherton was rendered offsides and the goal was called back.
"I think the fight, determination, and competitiveness is there," said NCFC head coach Dave Sarachan. "Overall, I'm fairly pleased. I thought the guys did a good job of supporting each other."
- Between both teams, four yellow cards and one red card were administered during the match.
- Dre Fortune scored his second goal of the season.
- Akeem Ward recorded his first start of the 2020 season.
- NCFC outshot Birmingham Legion FC 20-2.
Looking Ahead: North Carolina FC will travel to face Memphis 901 FC on Saturday, August 8 at 5 p.m. ET at Autozone Park in Memphis, Tennessee.
NC (4-5-1): Alex Tambakis; Sam Brotherton, Conor Donovan, DJ Taylor, Akeem Ward; Manny Perez (Ben Speas, 63') , Pecka, Dre Fortune (Daniele Proch, 90'), Steven Miller © (Graham Smith, 89'), Hadji Barry; Robbert Kristo
Subs Not Used: Alex Comsia, Malik Mbaye, Paolo Pita, Luke Hille
BHM (4-4-2): Matt VanOekel ©; Mikey Lopez, Jake Rufe, Alex Crognale, Jonathan Dean; Bolu Akinyode, Anderson Asiedu, Bruno Lapa (Jaden Servania, 80'), Daigo Kobayashi (Marcos Ugarte, 63'), Brian Wright (Rudolf Mensah, 63'); Neco Brett (Eli Crognale, 45')
Subs Not Used: Trevor Spangenberg, Braxton Najib
NC: Dre Fortune (DJ Taylor, 51')
NC: Conor Donovan (29'), Robert Kristo (87'), Dre Fortune (90')
BHM: Neco Brett (44')
BHM: Bolu Akinyode (33')
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