STATESBORO, GA. (August 5, 2023) — North Carolina FC are coming home with three points after beating South Georgia Tormenta FC 3-2 at Optim Sports Medicine Field. North Carolina are now unbeaten in seven straight matches and sit at second in the USL League One table.
North Carolina FC struggled early in the first half after South Georgia took an early goal in the thirteen minutes. Kingsford Adjei passed the ball into the net through North Carolina defenders after a cross from Kazaiah Sterling in the box. North Carolina got an opportunity later in the half when a penalty was awarded to Garrett McLaughlin and Rafa Mentzingen put it away making it 1-1. Only moments later Tormenta FC made it 2-1 when Kazaiah Sterling slid one in off a cross from Mukwelle Akale.
Right before the first half ended Rafa Mentzingen hit a rocket into the back of the net after winning a penalty, making it even at half. North Carolina made it 3-2 after Oalex Anderson made a perfect run to nail a ball into the goal off a deflection from Mclaughlin. Anderson now has 11 goals on the season and sits in second place in the running for the Golden Boot. North Carolina gained three crucial points and increases their unbeaten streak to seven straight matches with a record of 11-4-4.
Quoting North Carolina FC
Head Coach John Bradford on the match with South Georgia Tormenta FC:
“I couldn’t be prouder of this group tonight. To find a way to respond twice in the first half was massive and it allowed us to fight for a winner in the second half. This team has character and every player in the 18 played a vital role in securing an important three points on the road against a very good Tormenta side. We’ll enjoy this for tonight, get back to NC tomorrow, and then shift our focus to an important match in Richmond midweek.”
Forward Garrett McLaughlin on the match:
“It was a total team effort tonight. We showed a lot of heart coming back and defending the lead at the end. This was a huge step for this team getting to where we want to go!”
- North Carolina have won 6 penalties in the USL League One this season, only One Knoxville (8) have been awarded more.
- Rafael Mentzingen has scored 4 penalties this season, the joint-highest total in the USL League One (alongside E. Terzaghi).
- North Carolina have won 12 points from losing positions in the USL League One this season, no team has recovered more.
North Carolina FC will travel to Richmond, Virginia to face the Richmond Kickers in a midweek match up on Wednesday, August 9, with a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff at City Stadium. The match will stream on ESPN+ and @NorthCarolinaFC will provide social media updates.
NCFC (4-4-2): Brooks Thompson, Nelson Blanco, Gustavo Fernandes, David Garcia, Christian Lue Young, Rafael Mentzingen (Luis Arriaga – 62’), Michael Maldonado, Raheem Somersall, Louis Perez (Max Flick – 76’), Oalex Anderson (DJ Benton – 76’), Garrett McLaughlin (Preston Popp – 90’ + 2’)
Subs Not Used:, Trevor Mulqueen, Pecka, Marvin Mariche
TRM (4-3-3): Pablo Jara, Davey Mason, Preston Kilwien, Daltyn Knutson, Nick Akoto, Kingsford Adjei (Khoury – 65’), Tobias Otieno, Chris Heckenberg (J. Murphy – 77’), Mukwelle Akale (E. Amo – 77’), Kazaiah Sterling, Pedro Fonseca
Subs Not Used: Bush, Nembhardm,Cassini, , Bosua
NCFC: Rafael Mentzingen — 35′ (Penalty), Rafael Mentzingen — 42′ (Penalty), O. Anderson — 76′
TRM: K. Adjei — 13′ (A: K. Sterling), K. Sterling — 39′ (A: M. Akale)
NCFC: G. Fernandes — 20′, C. Lue Young — 45+2′, D. Benton — 86’
TRM: K. Sterling — 32′, N. Akoto — 34′, T. Otieno — 48′, J. Murphy — 86′