Jacksonville won 1-0 against FC Edmonton at Hodges Stadium
The Jacksonville Armada FC took Saturday’s match 1-0 behind a goal from Derek Gebhard in the 79th minute. Two cancelled games due to weather and an almost two hour rain delay did not stop the fans from coming out to see the Armada FC (6W-4D-3L, 3rd NASL Spring) as they faced FC Edmonton (3W-1D-10L, 7th NASL Spring) at Hodges Stadium.
“[The goal] feels great, but it feels even better to have the three points,” said Gebhard.
The match started off very active not only on the field, but also from Section 904. Their chats seemed to fuel the team as they played with intense energy.
In the first two minutes Steinberger hit a header that was just high of the goal. Charles Eloundou continued the momentum as he launched a shot on goal that was just wide left keeping the energy on the Armada FC’s side.
The Armada FC’s defensive effort matched their offense. An attempt on the goal from Edmonton was deflected as Jacksonville goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell extended his whole frame to smack the ball over the net keeping the score locked at zero.
The Armada FC continued their strong offensive effort. After a rebound off of Aaron Pitchkolan, Eloundou shot a long range shot that skimmed right past the goal post.
The Armada FC had several attempts and held 68 percent possession in the first half, but they were unable to find the back of the net. The two squads went into halftime scoreless.
“We worked so hard to break them down, so and when we do and don’t finish them it’s frustrating. And it ends up being this tight stressful contest,” said Head Coach Mark Lowry.
FC Edmonton came out of the half ready to attack. Nicklaw launched a long strike that was on target for a goal, but Patterson-Sewell, unwilling to let them go up by one, continued his great defensive streak as he lunged for an acrobatic save.
In the 79th minute all of the Armada FC’s close chances finally paid off. Derek Gebhard seemed to be as fast as the lightning that delayed they game for almost two hours. Gebhard scored the first goal of the game off an assist by Drew Beckie, giving the Armada FC a 1-0 advantage. The blue and gold smoke filled the air as cheers erupted from the stadium.
Edmonton tried on last time to equalize the score but Patterson-Sewell did not allow that, sending the ball over the net.
The end of the NASL Spring Season is drawing near, and there is still a chance for the Armada FC to be in the running for Spring Season Champion. Miami FC currently sits in first place, but if they lose Tuesday, the points are up for grabs.
“This [win] was a great momentum builder and confidence booster for us, we know we can get another three points next week, we’re just taking it one game at a time. Our ultimate goal is to win the entire thing. This race is not for the quickest, so we’re going steady,” said vice-captain Kevan George.
The Armada FC will return to action with back-to-back meetings with Puerto Rico. First will be an away match in Puerto Rico on July 8, and then will return July 12 to Hodges Stadium.
JAX (4-2-3-1): Patterson-Sewell, Ryden, Pitchkolan, Jerome, Beckie, Glenn, Maripuu, Johnson (Rebellón 77’), Steinberger, Eloundou (Banks 61’), Gebhard (Glenn 89’)
FCE (4-3-2-1): Ingham, Galvao, Watson, Diakite, Nicklaw, Eustáquio (Di Biase 77’), Zebie (Smith 88’), Keegan (Khattab 73’), Fisk, Nyassi, Ameobi
JAX: Gebhard 79’
FCE: Nicklaw (caution) 45’
FCE: Zebie (caution) 52’
FCE: Ameobi (caution) 76’
FCE: Watson (caution) 78’
JAX: Rebellón (caution) 87’