By AFC Mobile
AFC Mobile fell 2-0 at home to Gulf Coast Conference leaders Jacksonville Armada on Saturday. There was little to separate the two sides until Giancarlo Vaccaro capitalized on a loose ball in the box and slotted home the winner in the 71st minute.
thought the guys were excellent,” AFC Mobile manager Steve Wieczorek said.
“From a defensive perspective, we did amazing to clog up those lanes and win the ball, counter-attack, retain possession, and create chances of our own.”
The Armada nearly opened the scoring in the 10th minute, but Mobile’s Gui Altoé saved their shot from the center of the box. The Azaleas survived a sequence of corner kicks that followed to keep the match level.
The Azaleas responded five minutes later when Alex Lozano played Jackson Wheatley in behind the Armada defense. Wheatley’s shot was saved by Jacksonville goalkeeper John Braswell.
Mobile nearly took the lead off of a free kick in stoppage time of the first half. The ball was rocketed into the box by Mobile’s Ronaldo Fortune. Braswell tried to collect the shot but fumbled it, and Mobile’s second chance opportunity flew wide left of the goal.
Fortune would go on to have another strong chance in the early minutes of the second half after he got in behind the Armada backline, but his shot was punched out by Braswell.
The Armada took the lead in the 71st minute after Altoé collided with a Jacksonville player when attempting to collect a ball played into the box from the left wing. The ball couldn’t be handled and was slotted home by Vaccaro.
“In the second half, I felt that we were in good position, but started to get a little bit stretched,” Wieczorek said. “You can see right before we conceded the goal that we were a little stretched, and I think it’s because we felt like we could score and I think that really shows the character and the positivity of the players we have.”
Late in stoppage time, Vaccaro found Alex Ierides in the box to slot home a second goal to secure the 2-0 victory for the Armada.
AFC Mobile will have two chances in the coming week to claim their first result of the season. On Wednesday, the Azaleas will hit the road to take on Pensacola FC before returning to Mobile on Saturday to host the New Orleans Jesters. This victory extends the Armada’s five-game winning streak and their position at the top of the NPSL’s Gulf Coast Conference. Jacksonville will return to action on June 15th when they host Tallahassee SC.
Photo Credit: Seth Laubinger/Ruby Media