CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC managed to earn a point in its North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall season-opener against Puerto Rico FC at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday.
Forward Matt Fondy’s penalty-kick equalizer in stoppage time denied Puerto Rico the opportunity to take the win home with them.
It was the third game in a row against Puerto Rico that North Carolina FC had taken points with goals in stoppage time.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy with a point. We didn’t start the game well,” North Carolina head coach Colin Clarke said.
“We had more urgency in the second half. We’ve talked a lot over this week about starting this Fall season well and setting a good tempo.”
Puerto Rico took a 1-0 lead when it capitalized on a turnover deep in NCFC’s half with Jordi Quintilla finishing the play in the 14th minute.
NCFC nearly found its equalizer in the 44th minute when Fondy’s header at the far post finished off target.
The offensive push eventually paid off in the final minutes when a takedown in the box led to Fondy’s PK conversion, his fifth goal of the year, and second in as many league matches.
North Carolina FC 1, Puerto Rico FC 1
NCFC: Brian Sylvestre; Paul Black, Connor Tobin, Christian Ibeagha, Steven Miller; Lance Laing (Jonathan Glenn, 46’), Austin Da Luz (Tiyi Shipalane, 82’), James Marcelin, Nazmi Albadawi ©, Jose Carranza; Matt Fondy (Dre Fortune, 90’+) – Subs not used: Macklin Robinson, Bolu Akinyode, Marcel Kandziora, Brad Ruhaak
PRFC: Trevor Spangenberg; Rudy Dawson, Seth Moses, Phanuel Kavita; Jairo Puerto, Walter Ramirez, Jordi Quintilla (Michael Kafari, 68’), Yuma ©; Conor Doyle (Sidney Rivera, 90’+), Giuseppe Gentile (Kyle Culbertson, 80’), Hector Ramirez – Subs not used: Austin Pack, Emery Welshman, Ramon Soria
Score: NCFC: 1; PRFC: 1
Goals: NCFC: Matt Fondy (90’+, PK); PRFC: Jordi Quintilla (13’, Yuma)
Cautions: NCFC: Austin Da Luz 4’; PRFC: Jordi Quintilla 34’, Walter Ramirez 48’, Trevor Spangenberg 72’, Phanuel Kavita 76’, Michael Kafari 84’, Jairo Puerto 90’
Ejections: NCFC: –; PRFC: Marco Velez