North Texas Grabs a Lifeline, Downing Vancouver 1-0
On Friday night, on the road, North Texas SC played one of their best defensive matches of the year. Jose Mulato got his eighth goal to secure the win.
I’ve been feeling like a broken record talking about North Texas Soccer Club’s woes in recent weeks, but we were gifted a beautiful reprieve on Friday night.
Behind one of their stronger and more cohesive defensive performances of the season, North Texas claimed a vital three points on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 to keep their flickering playoff hopes going.
Starting goalkeeper Antonio Carrera recorded a career-high ten saves on the night, repelling Vancouver time and time again. He was aided by an overall excellent performance from his defenders in front of him. For once, there were no big mistakes in key moments that allowed Vancouver to get back in it.
FC Dallas senior players Amet Korca, Nolan Norris, and Herbert Endelay all went the full 90.
Jose Mulato meanwhile found his eighth goal of the season, an assist via Hope Avayevu, to claw their way into the lead late in the match.
At that point, it was all about holding on.
John Gall was pleased after the match.
“It’s been incredible working with these guys. The last four to five weeks have been a joy to work with these players. They have a great attitude; they work hard, and they want to be successful. We had a great idea on how we wanted to attack the opponent and we knew we had to put numbers in the box,” Gall said after the match. “We came in from the right through Hope (Avayevu) following a nice link up play from José (Mulato) and I am happy he kept following the play. Credit to him because he does not miss a beat. He comes from the first team, plays in games and wants to be successful. I am super happy for Mulato with tonight’s performance, and with his game-winning goal.”
Carrera too acknowledged everyone playing their part in this one.
“My job is to make saves, I made 10 saves, but we have to keep going,” Antonio said after the match. “We keep pushing and that is the new standard. We build from this going forward.”
The team will no doubt seek to build on this result and look for another three points this weekend at home against Western Conference leaders Colorado Rapids 2. With some other results going their way, North Texas is now only 7 points out from the final playoff spot. With three matches left, the margin is likely too narrow to make up, but they have yet to be mathematically eliminated.
If they win all three, who knows what might happen?
Stay tuned for more North Texas coverage later this week.
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