Soccer

NCFC 3-0 win puts them in playoff contention

Posted September 10

Sep 2, 2017; Cary, NC, USA; North Carolina FC hosted FC Edmonton in an NASL fall season match at Sahlen's Stadium at Wake Med Soccer Park. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-NCFC

North Carolina FC grabbed a decisive 3-0 result against FC Edmonton on Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium to earn a vital three points in the 2017 NASL playoff race.

The victory moves NCFC back into playoff contention and to third in the NASL’s combined table with 32 points. The team is level on points with Jacksonville Armada FC, while holding the tiebreaker in goal differential. The New York Cosmos sit just one point behind both teams in fifth place.

In a venue that North Carolina FC has regularly struggled at, the side looked at home, winning its first match at Clarke Stadium and taking three points from Edmonton for the first time since a 2011 victory at Foote Field.

Nazmi Albadawi got the action started quickly, scoring in the 12th minute with a curling strike from 26 yards out. Renan Gorne’s hold up play drew in the defenders before he dropped the ball to Albadawi. The Raleigh native made no mistake on the shot to score his third goal of the season.

Gorne doubled NCFC’s lead nine minutes later, heading home a goal from Dre Fortune’s corner kick. Gorne found himself unmarked inside the six-yard box and placed his header into the far corner of the goal for his second tally of the season.

Edmonton placed just two shots on target in the first half, as NCFC’s defense stifled the Eddies’ attacking unit. By halftime, NCFC had jumped out to a 53-47 percent advantage in possession and a 7-3 advantage in total shots.

The dominant showing continued into the second half with another scoreless 45 minutes from the NCFC defense. The team waited late for its offensive push. Albadawi hit the post in the 77th minute before Steven Miller gave NCFC a 3-0 lead in the 86th minute.

Miller stole the ball near midfield from an Eddies’ defender and broke away for an untouched 40-yard run before slipping the ball past the Eddies’ goalkeeper for his second league goal of the year.

NCFC played out the final minutes to clinch the result in its largest margin of victory in a league match this season.

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