NCFC Unable to Find A Winner in a Tense Encounter
By Jaden Dakwa – LA Soccer Press
North Carolina FC were eliminated from playoff contention after a 1-1 draw with Union Omaha on Saturday, October 1st. Goals from each team on either side of half-time led to a stalemate at WakeMed Soccer Park and NCFC needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Cory Hertzog was able to hand Union Omaha the lead in the 25th minute after he intercepted a misplaced pass from Britton Fischer. Hertzog rifled a low strike directly into the corner after receiving the ball.
In the 67th minute, NCFC substitute Nelson Flores put in a sensational cross that fellow second half substitute Shak Adams was able to get to. Adams attempted to chip the goalkeeper from close range, but his attempt went just wide of the near post.
Shaft Brewer struck a shot that nearly hit the target in the 79th minute. He did extremely well to take on multiple defenders and his curling effort from right outside of the box glanced just wide of the far post.
Oalex Anderson equalized the match in the 82nd minute after the ball fell to him from a cross hit by Shak Adams. Anderson chested the ball down and swiveled to strike the ball into the side net.
NCFC continued to push for a goal, but were unable to find a winner in the dying embers of the match.
NCFC head coach John Bradford believes his team were the better side throughout the match and felt a draw was an unfortunate result.
“I thought our group competed from minute one and were the more aggressive and better team throughout the entirety of the game,” Bradford said. “And unfortunately, we finished with a draw but really proud of the effort the guys put together.”
Although the result took the team out of playoff contention, Bradford is eager for the team to bring the same energy into their last home regular season match on Saturday, October 8th against Chattanooga Red Wolves.
“I don’t think our intention changes,” Bradford said. “We’ll try and do the exact same thing against Chattanooga here next Saturday. There will be no feeling sorry for anybody and we’ll get on with the next game and try to win three points here.”
NCFC will return home for their last regular season match against Chattanooga Red Wolves on Saturday, October 8th.
Dakwa holds a BS in Journalism from Elon University. He writes about North Carolina professional soccer for L.A. Soccer Press. Follow him at @JDakwa on Twitter.