The Jacksonville Armada FC hit the road for the first matchup with Naples United FC in the NPSL season Saturday. The home team delivered the Armada FC its second loss of the season with a final score of 1-0.
The first half saw a few opportunities from the Armada FC, but neither team was able to get on the board. Instead it was a physical battle that yielded five yellow cards between the teams.
J.C. Banks was first to register a shot several minutes into the match. He found space to move inside the box and fired a shot, but it went over the crossbar.
Ciarán Kilduff was next with an opportunity when he gained possession of the ball in the midfield. He blasted the ball from 30 yards, but it also went over the net.
The Armada FC received the best chance of the first half when Derek Gebhard used his speed to get inside Naples’ box and tried to tap the ball in, but it was blocked by the Naples goalkeeper.
The teams returned to the second half with more momentum and the Armada FC gained sight of the goal just minutes after play resumed.
Kilduff played a pass over to Gebhard, who moved toward the net and shot the ball, but the Naples goalkeeper was there again to block it.
Just minutes later, Naples received their first shot on goal from some distance. Crucial goalkeeping by Brian Holt knocked the ball up and over the crossbar though.
Ten minutes later, Naples came forward aggressive again and Holt blocked an initial shot, but the ball became loose inside the box. Yuma however made the critical clearance to keep the home team from scoring.
The teams left the field for 30 minutes due lightning being detected in the area around the 65th minute.
Naples kept the momentum on their side once returning to the field after the delay.
The home team got on the board in the 75th minute. An initial blocked shot by Holt was returned into the net on the rebound by Naples.
Holt kept Naples from doubling its lead in the 90th minute by pushing out the ball after a close encounter inside the box.
Jacksonville received one last chance in stoppage time when Jérôme stepped up for a free kick. His attempt was blocked and Jacksonville tried with the rebound but it went over the net.
With two matches left, Jacksonville still has a chance to make the NPSL Sunshine Conference playoffs. The team will hit the road again for the last away match on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 pm against Storm FC at Central Broward Stadium.
Contributor: Jacksonville Armada FC
Photo Credit: Eric Turner/Armada FC