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North Carolina FC Grabs 2-1 Win over Hartford

In a captivating showdown at WakeMed Soccer Park, North Carolina FC secured their inaugural victory of the 2024 USL Championship season with a spirited 2-1 triumph over Hartford Athletic. The match, filled with compelling moments and standout performances, marked a significant milestone for North Carolina FC in their campaign. Let's delve into the exhilarating encounter and relive the key highlights.

Match Recap:

Early Dominance: North Carolina FC asserted their dominance from the onset, controlling much of the proceedings in the early stages. Their relentless pressure paid dividends just before the half-hour mark when Oalex Anderson drew a foul from the Hartford defense, resulting in a penalty. Louis Perez calmly slotted the ball into the lower right corner, handing North Carolina FC the lead.

Anderson's Brilliance: Ten minutes later, Oalex Anderson showcased his scoring prowess by latching onto a sublime through ball from Rodrigo Da Costa and clinically finishing into the far side netting. This marked Anderson's first goal of the season, adding to the excitement for the home fans at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Halftime Lead: North Carolina FC headed into halftime with a comfortable 2-0 lead, courtesy of their clinical finishing and relentless attacking play. The combination of Anderson and Da Costa proved lethal, posing constant threats to the Hartford defense.

Hartford's Response: Despite trailing by two goals, Hartford Athletic showed resilience and determination in the second half. They slashed the deficit in half in the 72nd minute, as Jay Chapman curled in a sensational free kick from 30 yards out, injecting newfound energy into the contest.

Late Drama: Hartford Athletic pressed forward in search of an equalizer, creating several scoring opportunities and testing the North Carolina FC defense. However, North Carolina FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire rose to the occasion with three crucial saves, including a stunning stop in stoppage time to preserve his team's lead.

Post-Match Reflections:

Following the victory, North Carolina FC's head coach, John Bradford, expressed his delight at securing their first win of the season, highlighting the team's continuous improvement and resilience on the field. Players like Louis Perez and Oalex Anderson also reflected on the team's growth and chemistry, emphasizing the collective mindset and unity within the squad.

Final Thoughts:

North Carolina FC's 2-1 win over Hartford Athletic exemplified the resilience, determination, and attacking flair that defines the USL Championship. With their maiden victory secured, North Carolina FC will look to build on this momentum as they continue their journey in the 2024 season. The passionate support of the fans at WakeMed Soccer Park added to the electrifying atmosphere, creating unforgettable memories for all involved.

As the season progresses, North Carolina FC aims to maintain their winning form and cement their position as contenders in the USL Championship. With performances like this, the sky's the limit for North Carolina FC in their quest for success.

Box Score:

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

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

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