North Texas SC earns first regulation win of 2024 over Tacoma

North Texas SC defeated Tacoma Defiance 2-1 behind goals from Tarik Scott and Enes Sali and a strong defensive performance from Turner Humphrey.

The Match

2022 and 2023 FC Dallas first-round picks, Isaiah Parker and Herbert Endeley, started each at wingbacks, with Parker on the left and Endeley on the right. Tarik Scott and his brother Malik Henry-Scott started up top together, per Raul Hernandez, the first brother duo to start for North Texas since Arturo and David Rodriguez in 2019.

North Texas got started early, as a beautiful through ball from Anthony Ramirez found Scott just outside of the 6-yard box, who smashed it home near post to fire the home side to an early 1-0 lead.

The next big chance for North Texas came on a power run from midfield into the box by Nolan Norris who’s layoff found Tarik who fired a hard shot low but it was smothered by the Tacoma keeper.

Just before the 30-minute mark, Michael Collodi comes off his line to smother a good opportunity in the box for Tacoma.

Just after the half-hour mark, Endeley darted in off the right wing and ripped a shot with his left foot, narrowly over the bar.

In first-half stoppage time, FC Dallas signee Enes Sali received the ball in space on the left week, cut inside, and bent a shot in that found the bottom corner after deflecting off the keeper to give the home side a 2-0 lead and their first game with 2 goals in 2024.

As the halftime whistle blew, North Texas SC led for the first time in 2024.

Most of the second half was a defensive battle, with the North Texas backline standing strong, exemplified best with a goalline clearance by Turner Humphrey after a route one chance from Tacoma is put past Collodi and nearly in the net.

With 4 minutes left of regular time, Collodi makes an incredible snag to deny a long-range effort from Tacoma.

The fourth official signaled for 4 minutes of stoppage time, after 6 minutes of stoppage time play continues on, and a Tacoma cross whipped into the back post finds a head and crosses the line before Humphrey can clear it off the line.

Soon after the referee blew for full time and North Texas secured its first regulation win of the season! Enes Sali took home Man of the Match honors after a terrific performance at LW.

Quotes and Takeaways

After a rough spell in front of the net to start the season, North Texas had things go their way tonight, with opportunities to extend their lead. Turner Humphrey was perfect at the back tonight for North Texas, equally deserving of the Man of the Match award for his performance tonight.

“I think it has been coming, obviously attacking guys want to score goals and their mindset is all about scoring goals. Today it was a mirror image of some things we have been working on in training.” Head Coach John Gall said after the match.

“In the second half they tried to squeeze and press and we had chances to put the game away.” Gall continued “We knew it was gonna be a tough game, they’re very well coached, they’re very well organized. We have the ability, talent, desire, and drive to get what we need.”

On the North Texas attack firing home goals today, Gall said “I think it has been coming, obviously attacking guys want to score goals and their mindset is all about scoring goals. Today it was a mirror image of some things we have been working on in training.”

On goalkeeper Michael Collodi having another solid performance, Gall said “We tell Michael all the time that that is his job, at the end of the day his job is to stop goals, we have a talented kid, a competitive kid who works hard every day in training.”

NTX’s Man of the Match Enes Sali said of the match “I feel like we dominated the first half, it was a great team goal. Second Half we slowed down due to their pressing.”

“Both [FC Dallas and North Texas SC], they showed me hospitality, really good teammates, I will show my quality when I get the opportunity”

North Texas will go back on the road when they visit Colorado Rapids II next Sunday, April 21st!

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