Asheville City dominated possession and shots but was unable to score and suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Emerald Force SC.
Entering the match, Asheville City was sitting in fourth place in the conference table and only two points behind first. Securing a win over the Force, who find themselves at the bottom of the table, seemed to be a necessity.
When the match started, it appeared that the Blues would have their way. It took only five minutes for Bruno Andrade to find the first shot at goal. In the first 20 minutes, both Andrade and Tom Deeley got excellent looks at goal, but neither attempt found the back of the net.
The first goal of the match instead went to the Emerald Force in the 20th minute after a defensive mix-up. It was an unfortunate break for the Blues, but a one-goal lead didn’t appear to be insurmountable.
Knoxville’s lead looked to have disappeared in the 38th minute when Deeley seemingly scored the equalizer. Unfortunately for Asheville City, the referee questionably called him offsides. The Blues caught a break three minutes later however, when Elma N’For was brought down from behind, prompting a red card from the referee. Asheville City would play up a man for the rest of the match.
Coming out of halftime, the Blues looked to find the back of the net, but it was to no avail. They created numerous chances for themselves but weren’t as accurate as usual. In stoppage time, Asheville City was still looking for an equalizer when Knoxville delivered the death blow with a 92nd-minute goal.
Asheville City will look to regroup and take revenge as they return home to host the Emerald Force on Thursday.
Contributor: Alex McLoughlin/Asheville City SC