Cary, NC – North Carolina FC has one of the best records in their conference and that record got even better as the home team beat Atlanta United 2 this past weekend.
Intense First Half
North Carolina FC took on Atlanta United 2 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, July 27, 2019. Both teams played fast and the scoreboard filled up before the first half even ended.
NCFC drew first blood as Donovan Ewolo squeezed past Atlanta’s defenses, setting him up for a pass from Ben Speas. Ewolo kicked a volley and got the home team’s first goal in just the seventh minute.
If Ewolo impressed in the opening minutes, then Steven Miller wowed the crowd with back-to-back goals next. Nazmi Albadawi set Miller up as he got in close to Atlanta’s goal and he hit a quick shot, getting the ball past Atlanta goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira, in the 15th minute of gameplay.
Only four minutes later, Ewolo set Miller up for another shot, which Miller tapped in for his seventh goal of the season, making him the team leader. Fewer than 20 minutes into the match and NCFC already led 3-0.
Atlanta fought back hard, with two goals fewer than 10 minutes apart. Will Vint and Bienvenue Kanakimana both made it past NCFC’s defenses and brought the score to 3-2, putting them in striking distance of robbing the home team of a win in front of their fans.
But in a reversal of the game’s earlier goal, this time, Miller set up Ewolo for a shot. Miller got a cross to Ewolo, who nailed Atlanta and brought the score to 4-3, seconds before the halftime break was called.
After such a rapid first half, neither team was able to score in the final 45 minutes of gameplay, though Dre Fortune had one close call that bounced off of the goalpost. The game ended 4-3 and NCFC remains undefeated at home this season.
This is NCFC’s 10th win of the season, making them the fourth-ranked team in the USL’s Eastern Conference.
“Obviously getting three goals early was very good,” said NCFC head coach Dave Sarachan. “I thought we created good chances. I thought our ball movement, our possession, our combination play was good.”
NCFC takes on the third-ranked team, Indy Eleven, at home soon. That match takes place Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 7 PM.
Story by staff reports. Photos by Jaylynn Nash.