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 North Carolina FC

Stoppage-Time Goal Gives Visitors Late Win

April 20, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
North Carolina FC News Release

CARY, N.C. - North Carolina FC fell to New Mexico United, 3-2, behind a stoppage-time goal at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, April 20.

Both teams found the back of the net twice in an end-to-end first half, with Julian Placias getting the scoring action going in the 16' minute with his first USL goal and second score of the week after bagging the game-winning goal in NCFC's midweek Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game.

Collin Martin won the ball back near midfield and played a first-time ball forward. The New Mexico defender misread the ball and Placias jumped at the opportunity to take control of the ball and calmly slot it by New Mexico goalkeeper Alec Tambakis.

New Mexico equalized just minutes later, with Greg Hurst converting from the penalty spot following a foul from Paco Craig in the 19'.

Ezra Amrstrong restored NCFC's lead in the 28', heading home a cross from Rafa Mentzingen for his first goal in the USL and in an NCFC jersey. The wingback has excelled in recent games, earning a spot on the USL Championship Week 6 Team of the Week Bench for his performance against the Birmingham Legion, and continued that excellent streak against New Mexico.

Hurst brought the visitors level just one minute later, chipping NCFC keeper Jake McGuire following a lobbed pass from Arturo Astorga.

NCFC had chances to score after the break, including strong efforts from Placias and Garrett McLaughlin in the final half hour that narrowly missed the goal, but could not find the back of the net.

McGuire and the NCFC defense came up with some big saves to take the 2-2 scoreline into stoppage time, but a cross from Dominick Hernandez found an unmarked Sergio Rivas in the middle of the box to head home the game-winning goal.

Match Notes

18-year-old striker Julian Placias scored for the second game in a row, following up his midweek Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game-winning goal with a 16-minute strike for his first USL goal on Saturday.

Ezra Armstrong's first-half goal was his first in the USL and first in an NCFC jersey.

Rodrigo Da Costa made his 150th career USL Championship regular season start in the loss.

Up Next:

North Carolina FC will hit the road to take on Indy Eleven on Saturday, April 27, at 7 p.m. at Michael A. Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis. The game can be streamed live on ESPN+.


NCFC (3-4-2-1): Jake McGuire; Bryce Washington, Paco Craig ©, Justin Malou; Ezra Armstrong, Collin Martin, Mikey Maldonado, Rafa Mentzingen; Rodrigo Da Costa (Shaft Brewer Jr.- 90'+3'), Louis Perez (Jaden Servania- 85'), Julian Placias (Garrett McLaughlin- 76').

Subs Not Used: Antonio Carrera, Nelson Flores Blanco, Jacori Hayes, Lamar Batista, Raheem Somersall, Kyrome Lumsden.

NM (4-2-3-1): Alex Tambakis ©; Christopher Gloster, Will Seymore, Jon-Talen Maples, Arturo Astorga; Zico Bailey, Marco Micaletto, Jacobo Reyes (Sergio Rivas- 64'), Dominic Hernandez, Mukwelle Akale (Dayonn Harris- 73'); Greg Hurst (Daniel Bruce- 73').

Subs Not Used: Anthony Herbert, Kristopher Shakes, Avionne Flanagan, Nanan Houssou.



NM: 3


NCFC: J. Placias (C. Martin)- 16', E. Armstrong (R. Mentzingen)- 28'

NM: G. Hurst- 19' (PK), G. Hurst (A. Astorga)- 29', S. Rivas (D. Hernandez)- 90'+1'


NCFC: - P. Craig- 87'

NM: - Z. Bailey- 33'. Bench- 45'+3'



NM: -

Attendance: 1,916

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