The Jacksonville Armada FC hosted Palm Beach United Wednesday at Hodges Stadium for the clubs’ second matchup of the NPSL season. The Armada FC took revenge and earned a crucial three points, with a 3-2 victory against Palm Beach who handed the club its only NPSL loss this season on June 9.
The Armada FC started the game aggressive, putting pressure on Palm Beach right away.
The first goal of the match came in the 6th minute when Camilo Portilla crossed the ball into the middle of the box to a cutting Joshua Castellanos. Castellanos slid past the Palm Beach defenders and buried a shot into the corner of the net to give the Armada FC a 1-0 lead.
The Armada FC doubled its lead in the 20th minute with a goal from Ciarán Kilduff. Conor Doyle chipped a high ball into the box that looked to be an easy save for Palm Beach goalkeeper Detré Bell. Palm Beach defender Michael O’Sullivan beat Bell to the ball and tried to clear it, but Kilduff stole it from him and scored an easy one to make the score 2-0.
Jacksonville almost added another goal in the 42nd minute on a Doyle free kick from about 40 yards out. He sent a low screamer at Bell, who couldn’t control the shot. The ball bounced off of his hands in front of him and J.C. Banks tried to put it away. He was in good position, but put his shot over the net.
Palm Beach United had its best chance of the half on the last play in stoppage time. Midfielder Roberto Soares made a run on a through-ball in front of the net, but Brian Holt came off the line to get to the ball with a diving save.
The Armada FC walked off the field with a 2-0 lead at halftime.
Palm Beach United came out aggressive in the second half and quickly cut the deficit to one with a 49th minute goal. Soares put a move on Yuma at the top of the box and created just enough space to put a low shot past Holt to make the score 2-1.
Palm Beach continued to out-play the Armada FC in the second half, and tied the match at 2-2 in the 75th minute. Ricardo Soza created a fast break up the middle of the field and sent a through-ball to Brandon Joseph-Buadi. Joseph-Buadi sped past the Armada FC defense and scored the equalizer.
Jacksonville answered to Palm Beach’s pressure in the 83rd minute when Banks scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Wesley Charpie. Charpie sent a cross in from the right side of the field to Banks who was positioned around the near post. Banks put his head on the ball and placed it in the corner of the far post to give Jacksonville the lead at 3-2.
The Armada FC will travel to Naples to face Naples United FC for the first time this season Saturday. With only three games left in the regular season, the Armada FC is looking to pick up as many points as it can to secure a top-three spot in the conference and be eligible for the playoffs.
Contributor: By Michael Card/ArmadaFC.com
Photo Credit: Rosie Lindo/Armada FC