Tobacco Road FC Falls to North Carolina FC U-23

CARY, NC- Tobacco Road FC travelled to Cary to take on North Carolina FC U-23 in the second volume of the 2018 edition of the Triangle Derby Saturday night. NCFC’s goal in the 89th minute to give the hosts three points in the 2-1 win over Tobacco Road.  


At 4:30 p.m., the scheduled start time, both teams came onto the field and lined up before the referee announced there would be a delay. The match was pushed back to 5:25 p.m. due to lightening. 

The match kicked off at 5:25 and both teams moved the ball well to start. In the 12th minute, the PA announcer announced that there would be another lightening delay. A little bit over an hour and a half later, two and a half hours from the original start time, the match resumed at 7 p.m. 

Tobacco Road FC opened the restart of play in a controlling fashion. In the 15th minute, Los Toros broke the stalemate and scored. Dylan Chain made an overlapping run on the left wing and whipped a ball into the box. The attempted clearance from the NCFC defender went wrong and was headed into NCFC’s net until goalkeeper George Marks made a quick reaction save. Oscar Moreno was there to clean it up. 

In the 27th minute, 12 minutes later, NCFC U-23 equalized. NCFC winger Sheriff Secka received the ball on the wing and made a quick cut in the box to put the ball on his right foot and blasted the ball into the top left corner of the goal to tie the game. 

Tobacco Road had a chance to go up just before the break as Mustapha Wadda’s pass found Mauricio Pineda around the PK spot. He looked to have an open goal but an NCFC U-23 defender dove in front of the shot to block it and save the tie. 

NCFC made an adjustment at the half, switching to a 4-4-2 and pressing higher up the pitch. This worked well for the hosts, as they created a good chance in the 51st minute. A cross into the box yielded a free header that went off the post.

In the 69th minute an NCFC U-23 forward looked to have broken the tie as he passed Tobacco Road goalkeeper Ryan Cretens on a one-on-one but the goal was called back. Cretens did enough to block the ball and as it popped up it hit the forward in the hand. The referee called the handball and the tie was restored. 

In the closing stages of the match Wadda took over and sent in magnificent crosses that created chances in the box. In the 86th minute, his cross bounced around and went off the chest of an NCFC U-23 defender. Tobacco Road called for a handball but the referee waved off their appeals.

In the 89th minute a cross in from found Jelani Pieters at the back post who headed it back across the goal into the far corner to put the hosts up 2-1 with just stoppage time remaining, breaking the hearts of the visiting fans. The result would hold.


“Obviously, it always hurts to lose to your rival. Especially when a lot of ways early on I thought we dominated the game, dominated possession. They made some very smart changes at half-time, went to a 4-4-2. We simply didn’t react well enough. We were reactionary. It’s a high character, mentally strong team and I challenge them to that. I have full confidence we will react accordingly. It’s a tough one.”


  • Tobacco Road falls to 2-3 while North Carolina FC improves to 2-1-2 on the year.
  • Oscar Moreno scored his first goal of the 2018 season. 
  • Moreno’s goal was unassisted, making 5 of Tobacco Road’s 8 goals unassisted.
  • Brad Ruhaak made his first start of the 2018 season.
  • This was Tobacco Road’s third straight loss after starting the season 2-0. 
  • The result makes Tobacco Road FC have a goal differential of 0 on the year, eight goals for and eight goals against.
  • Tobacco Road drops to fourth in the South Atlantic Division in the PDL with six points, sitting behind Myrtle Beach Mutiny (10 points), NCFC U-23 (eight points) and Charlotte Eagles (six points, goal differential).


Tobacco Road travels to Newport News, Virginia to take on PDL newcomers Lionsbridge FC Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Pomoco Stadium. The match will be available through the online live stream. The links will be available in the match preview and  on social media.