North Carolina FC picked up a big road win over New York Red Bulls II at MSU Soccer Park on Friday night, with two first half goals proving enough to stave off a comeback by the hosts that nearly earned them a point in the end.
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – North Carolina FC defeated New York Red Bulls II despite playing down a man for the final half-hour, with goals from defenders Sam Brotherton and Steven Miller downing Red Bulls II, who proved impressive in their efforts to pull level. Starting the match the more attacking of the two teams, North Carolina FC took the lead after 14 minutes when Brotherton settled a corner taken by midfielder Ben Speas before beating Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro from close range. Doubling their advantage after 38 minutes, the visitors found a second goal when forward Marios Lomis failed to connect properly on an overhead kick leaving Miller to whip in a powerful effort just inside the penalty area. The hosts saw the match take a turn in their favor when NCFC midfielder Ulrich Ewolo was sent off for a late challenge in midfield leaving his team down a man for the final half-hour. Looking to mount a comeback, Red Bulls II midfielder Christopher Lema came close when he hit the post with a curling effort after 68 minutes. Nine minutes later, midfielder Jared Stroud was first to respond to an intercepted pass by the North Carolina FC defense, hitting an effort on the first time asking that rolled past NCFC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis to pull one back. North Carolina FC remained resilient, though, and an 86th minute save by Tambakis on Stroud’s free kick from 24 yards out was the difference maker as the visitors return home with a big three points.
USL Championship Man of the Match
Steven Miller, North Carolina FC – Miller’s goal in the 38th minute proved the matchwinner with the defender also making three tackles, one clearance, and two interceptions in 90 minutes of action.