Armada Stage Stoppage Time Comeback In South Region Semifinal

Jacksonville advances to NPSL South Region Final
Jul 21, 2022

Wednesday, the Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 hosted Naples United FC in the NPSL Southern Region Semifinals at Jangro Stadium. This was the first meeting between the two clubs this season, and the Armada’s third game of the 2022 NPSL Playoffs.


The weather was not cooperative for the start of the match, and after a two hour delay the game was ready to kickoff.


As soon as the center referee blew the first whistle, Jacksonville was on the attack trying to break through the Naples’ defense.


Fifteen minutes into the game, Dominic Dominguez would come up with a crucial save from point blank range to keep the match scoreless. Just five minutes later, the Naples United striker hit a shot that rang off the crossbar.


In the 30th minute, Naples played a ball over the top of the Armada’s back line and scored to take a 1-0 lead.


The Armada pressed the opposition’s backline and caused Naples to make several mistakes, however Jacksonville was not able to take advantage of them. The boys in blue would go into the locker room at halftime down by a goal.


Jacksonville continued to retain most of the possession, battling for the game tying goal. In the 78th minute, Marc Birkelund lined up a strike from over 30 yards and smashed the ball past the opposition’s goalkeeper to make the score 1-1.


Six minutes of stoppage time would be added to the second half and in the 91st minute, Jed Bowman whipped a ball into the box to Reed Davis. Davis would get his head on the end of the cross and finish the chance to put the Armada ahead 2-1.


A few minutes later, Alex Ierides and Naples’ goalkeeper Gonzales would both receive their second yellow cards of the match and were subsequently both sent off.


In the dying embers of the match Giancarlo Vaccaro streaked down the right wing and played a chip pass over the keeper to Marc Birkelund. Birkelund would chest the ball into the net for his second of the night, and to make the final score 3-1.


“What a performance by the team. Although we don’t favor being in situations where we are a goal down, we have started to believe that anything is possible and we can turn around any game,” said Head Coach Tommy Krizanovic. “We have to work more on the smaller details but playing during short weeks is really tough and we have to prioritize what really matters and trust and believe the players have the capability to keep finding the results. Proud of the team for what they have accomplished so far.”


With last night’s result over Naples United FC, the Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 advance through to the South Regional Final. The NPSL South Region Champion will be decided this Saturday, when the Jacksonville Armada take on Tulsa Athletic. Do not miss your chance to witness your Jacksonville Armada make history on July 23rd at 6:30pm at Jangro Stadium! Reserve your FREE tickets to the NPSL South Region Final today on Eventbrite.