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DURHAM, NC- Tobacco Road FC struggled to find the net in a scoreless draw against the Charlotte Eagles on a stormy Wednesday night at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte. Tobacco Road outshot the Eagles 16-7.  

WHAT HAPPENED:

An hour and a half lightening delay pushed the start time back to 8:30 p.m. As teams first took the wet, turf pitch made the ball move quick and set the tone for a fast-paced match. 

Tobacco Road FC created chances abundantly during the match. It’s 16 shots are the most in a match this year, as the team came into the match averaging 9 shots per match. 

Joaquin Del Rosario registered the first shot of the match in the third minute after a ball from Ben Fisher puts him in on goal. The comfortably saved by the keeper. 

Wing-back John Nelson made his season debut for Tobacco Road and proved to be a thorn in the right side of Charlotte’s defense. Although he didn’t take any shots himself, he created many chances feeding the ball in to forwards who rattled off shots. 

In the 22nd minute Garner found the ball on the left side of the field, cut inside and quickly hit a curling shot to the back post. His shot appeared to have caught the goalkeeper out of position but it stayed high and narrowly went over the bar. 

Tobacco Road found another big chance in the 35th minute. A perfect through ball from Nelson found Del Rosario running in on goal. Del Rosario took a touch around the keeper but his left footed shot was from a tough angle and went off the post. 

For the first 15 minutes of the second half Tobacco Road controlled possession and stayed on the offensive. Antonio Lopez remained a rock in the midfield through his season debut. Tobacco Road FC head coach named Lopez his man of the match for consistent and hard play for the full 90. 

The 59th minute Tobacco Road has their best chance of the match as Nelson split two defenders and drove into the box, drawing all the defenders to him. He found Wadda at the back post with an open net. Wadda hit the ball on target but the Charlotte keeper made an acrobatic save to recover and keep the match scoreless.

With about 15 minutes remaining the match blew wide open. Both teams travelled up and down the field with ease to get shots off. Goalkeeper Ryan Cretens proved made a couple huge saves in the last five minutes to keep his shut out. 

In a match that created abundant chances, the final score was a misleading 0-0. 

HEAD COACH CEDRIC BURKE:

“Overall I was very pleased with yesterday. I thought it was a great team effort. The men played for each other with a lot of pride. I thought we represented ourselves really well. It was a good representation of the quality of the week of training leading up. I thought we controlled the majority of the game. Quite simply, we didn’t finish our chances. Charlotte is obviously the defending national champs and a great organization. They’re a very talented team. I thought they played well, I thought we played well.”

“All we can ask is that they can give a 100% effort, play for each other, play with pride, and play for 90 minutes. I thought this was the first time this season that they played for a full 90 minutes and didn’t let up at all.”

“I was extremely pleased with Antonio Lopez’s effort. He’s a stud and he made the most of the opportunity and will be a fixture member moving forward. I thought our entire midfield played well. Joaquin Del Rosario and Tomasso D’Agostino played really well. And John Nelson played well. It was a team effort.”

POST-MATCH NOTES:

  • Tobacco Road’s record comes to 3-5-1 while North Carolina FC U-23 improves to 3-4-2.
  • It was Tobacco Road’s first draw of the season. 
  • Ryan Cretens earned his second shutout of the season. 
  • Two players made their Tobacco Road FC debut: John Nelson and Antonio Lopez. Both players started and played the whole match.  
  • North Carolina FC U-23 takes the lead in the Triangle Derby with this win, making the season series 2-1 in its favor. 
  • Tobacco Road stays at fifth in the South Atlantic Division in the PDL with 10 points, sitting behind Charlotte Eagles (11 points), Lionsbridge FC (12 points), Myrtle Beach Mutiny (18 points) and NCFC U-23 (22 points).

UP NEXT:

Tobacco Road FC has a quick turnaround as they host the Carolina Dynamo on Friday, June 29 in Durham at Durham County Memorial Stadium. Follow Tobacco Road FC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get updates on Los Toros season.