Photo Credit: Uwe Welz
NCFC went on the road to pick up a monumental win only to fall just short of a well deserved draw two days later.
On Sunday afternoon, NCFC visited the Eddies of FC Edmonton in a venue where they have never won before. Apparently the guys decided to read my prediction from the other week and put three goals in. Better late than never, I guess. Nazmi Albadawi had a tremendous game – pulling the strings from the midfield and capping it off with a curling volley from about 25 yards out that bent in near post. Renan Gorne (aka #GorneInTheUSA, the best hashtag ever created) set up Nazmi’s goal with a great hold up and then later got on the scoresheet by connecting with a Dre Fortune corner. Steven Miller, playing in the midfield for the first time this season, ended the rout with a break away goal. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence, but the position change has worked out very well.
This was probably the best game that the team has played in recent memory. It wasn’t just because they won the game, it was the matter in which they did. They did well defensively, holding the Eddies to two shots all game, and possessed the ball well. I would imagine that most teams in NASL would struggle against this NCFC team playing like that.
Unfortunately, a perceived elbow from James Marcelin derailed that momentum in the game against Indy Eleven on Tuesday. NCFC dominated the first half, peppering John Busch in Indy’s goal only for him to come up with save after save. At the halfway point, it looked like Marcelin came in to a challenge with his elbow raised and the referee decided to give him a straight red card for violent play. Personally, I think that his elbow looked raised because Marcelin was a lot taller than the Indy opponent, but I feel like he should know better with these referees. I don’t know what it is about referees in MLS, NASL, etc but they love dishing out red cards. It seems like every MLS game I watch has at least one red card in it. Either way, NCFC battled for the second half but let Indy score in injury time to lose the points.
The upcoming match against Puerto Rico FC is a great chance for NCFC to solidify themselves in the NASL playoffs. As of writing, NCFC is in 3rd place in the overall standings – level on points with the Armada. They also have played two more games than everyone else around them, which is not ideal. NCFC need the three points to keep up the pace, and they also need to win at home for the first time in the Fall season.
Predicted Outcome: 1-0 NCFC.
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You can find JP on Twitter at @jp_rcs.