TUCSON, Ariz. – Two goals in the span of three minutes sent North Carolina FC to a 2-0 victory against an FC Tucson side that was reduced to 10 men in the first half at Kino North Stadium, putting more pressure on the hosts in their bid to reach the USL League One Playoffs with three games remaining in the regular season.
North Carolina had the first big chance of the game in the 17th minute as Josh Coan received a pass in the right channel and fired a curling shot toward the top-left corner of the net that was parried away by Tucson goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley. The visitors were then handed a man advantage 10 minutes later after Dakota Barnathan was sent off for the hosts for serious foul play for a foul on NCFC’s Peter Pearson.
Selmir Miscic almost put the visitors ahead shortly before halftime only to volley just over the crossbar after a cross from the right by Coan was flicked on by Daniel Steedman in the center of the penalty area, but the breakthrough arrived in the 58th minute as Coan’s corner from the left found Pearson for a header at the top of the six-yard area into the left corner of the net. Three minutes later, Miscic made it two from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the box, delivering a shot down the center as Lapsley went to the left corner.
Tucson tried to respond as Shak Adams had a pair of chances in the final half-hour, including an effort that was parried onto the post in the final minute before caroming out into the center of the penalty area where Manuel Ferriol sent his rebound chance high. It didn’t prove to be the host’s night, however, as NCFC headed back east with a notable result.
Tucson will remain at home to host South Georgia Tormenta FC on Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET at Kino North Stadium in its next outing, while North Carolina will visit Union Omaha on Saturday night at Werner Park at 7 p.m. ET.
USLLeagueOne.com Player of the Match
Selmir Miscic, North Carolina FC – Miscic scored from the penalty spot and had four shots overall as well as one key pass while completing 16 of 18 passes overall and making a pair of interceptions defensively.
NC (58’) – Pearson, assisted by Coan
NC (61’) – Miscic, penalty kick