TUCSON, AZ (May 7, 2022) – North Carolina FC defeated FC Tucson on the road on Saturday night, relying on an equalizer from Jaden Servania and a penalty kick conversion from Oalex Anderson to rally from behind and collect three points. Servania’s goal was his first of the regular season, and Anderson added a second to his season tally. Deri Corfe scored the lone goal for Tucson.
“Extremely proud of this group and amazed with the effort they put in in the second half,” said Head Coach John Bradford following the match. “We looked like a group that was intent on getting three points and knew that the first half wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. We’re building an identity as a team that can be successful on the road, and the guys truly believe they can get three points anywhere. I’m proud of a lot of individuals for stepping up and making a consistent effort throughout the second half to make sure we got the win.”
Tucson were quick to break the ice in tonight’s contest, the scoring play beginning as Corfe received a slot pass from Daniel Bedoya in the box. Now in at close range, Corfe’s first touch saw the forward convert Bedoya’s service to score his first goal of the regular season, giving Tucson a 1-0 edge in the 9th minute of play. The scoreline held through the first half, despite several scoring chances resulting from the combined efforts of Anderson, Luis Arriaga, and Garrett McLaughlin.
Intent on recovering the deficit in the second half, it was Servania who brought NCFC level in the 68th minute. Beating his defender, the midfielder slipped a shot past Tucson goalkeeper Carlos Merancino and into the lower 90 to knot the score at 1-1 and collect his first goal of the regular season.
“We started slow as a group and conceded early but kept our composure and saw out the first half,” Servania said. “After coming back out for the second half, you could tell the guys were hungry to get a goal back, and I started getting on the ball more, getting more involved, and opening up play, and was able to score one and draw the PK. I’m extremely excited to get this result on the road after being down 1-0, and I’m excited to be able to get a regular season goal and help the team in getting a well-earned three points on the road.”
With the match coming down to the wire, the two sides remained deadlocked until the second minute of stoppage time in the second half. Servania was brought down in the Tucson box, drawing a penalty kick and a final opportunity to win the game before time expired. Anderson stepped up to take the penalty kick, keeping composed and converting the attempt to provide NCFC with the upper hand at the death. As the final minutes of stoppage time ticked away, Tucson was able to earn a corner kick that was swiftly cleared by the NCFC defense, sealing the result for the North Carolina side.
“First of all, I’m happy with the three points and the performance we put out on the field after going down 1-0 in the first,” Anderson said. “We dug deep and never gave up, and that’s the mentality we need throughout the season in order to make the playoffs. I trust that everyone on this team has what it takes to beat anyone in the league, and we showed that tonight. Next week we’re at it again, and we’re hoping our fans back home are ready, this win was for them.”
- Jaden Servania scored his first goal of the regular season in tonight’s match.
- North Carolina FC maintained 83% passing accuracy throughout the game while maintaining 64.2% possession.
- Oalex Anderson added his second goal of the regular season.
Up Next: North Carolina FC will return to WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, May 14 to face South Georgia Tormenta FC for the second time this season, with kickoff set to take place at 5 p.m. ET. Tickets are available here, and the match will be available to watch live on ESPN+.
NCFC (4-4-2): Will Pulisic, Christian Lue Young, Jordan Skelton, Gustavo Fernandes, Nelson Flores Blanco, Raheem Somersall (Pecka – 78’), Luis Arriaga, Jaden Servania (Max Flick – 90+5’), Nelson Martinez, Garrett McLaughlin, Oalex Anderson (Britton Fischer – 90+4’)
Subs Not Used: Nicholas Holliday, Nicolas Rincon, Cole Frame, Showkat Tahir
TUC (4-3-3): Carlos Merancio, Jacob Crull, Kaelon Fox (Gio Calixtro – 46’), Luca Mastrantonio, Tyler Moss, Daniel Bedoya, Burke Fahling, Charlie Machell (Elijah Wynder – 79’), Tyler Allen, Deri Corfe, Yuki Shibata (Daniel Bloyou – 79’)
Subs Not Used: Sean Murray, Mueng Sunday, Diego Ruiz, Jerod Allen
NCFC: Jaden Servania (Oalex Anderson) – 68’, Oalex Anderson (PK) – 90+2’
TUC: Deri Corfe – 9’
NCFC: Jaden Servania – 45+3’
TUC: Luca Mastrantonio – 8’, Burke Fahling – 35’, Jacob Crull – 49’, Daniel Bedoya – 86’