Former Whitecaps and Whitecaps 2 player, and currently North Texas SC Coach, Pa Modou Kah, returned to face his former side on Friday night.
A strong first half from the away side was not able to produce goals, then the home team capitalized twice on similar passing patterns to undo the North Texas defense and won 3 goals to 1. North Texas lost the pressure they had early on and did not create nearly as much as in the first half, which was a critical part in ending their 6-match unbeaten run.
North Texas’ keeper Antonio Carrera was unavailable for the match, as he is with the USYNT U20’s, training to fight for a spot at the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The first clear chance of the match for NTXSC came from Bernard Kamungo, who gos free on the left side and tried to chip the keeper from a narrow-angle but missed just wide.
North Texas dominated possession from the 20′ to the 28′, but the pressure began to fade after Blaine Ferri’s 28′ yellow card for a hard challenge.
Alejandro Araneda earned himself a booking in the 31′ followed by a well-struck ‘caps free kick that went just wide.
Bernard Kamungo once again seemed destined for goal in the 34th minute with a perfect cross finding him inside the 6-yard box, but he put his shot just wide again.
North Texas denied a goal once more as they finished a chance but the offsides flag came up on an extremely tight call.
The last good look for NTX was a quick turn and shot from Kamungo but the netminder, Max Anchor, denies him again.
Anchor had himself quite the first half, with a few good saves and smothering some other chances. On the other end of the field, Felipe Carneiro had a relatively quiet first half, as his defenders snuffed out the ‘caps attack.
Unfortunately for the away side, ‘caps 2 struck first, seconds after the start of the second half, as a long switch behind the defense undid the backline, and a cross was turned in for the lead.
Luis Miguel leveled the match for North Texas in the 64th minute with a fantastic run and finish, roofing the ball over Anchor for his first MLS Next Pro goal!
North Texas’s defense is undone again in the 71′ when a long ball found a ‘caps foot then is turned across for the goal, a very similar situation to the first they conceded.
North Texas is unable to catch a break, as Carneiro is shown a yellow for a foul in the box, and a penalty is awarded. The home team converts to take a 3-1 lead.
North Texas was unable to overcome the late deficit and the match ended 3-1 in favor of the home side.
Thoughts On the Match
After a strong first half, North Texas was not able to find the same pressure and did not create much in the second half.
Overall a night to learn from for Kah’s men, as his return to his former club did not end in his favor. There were some good takeaways, despite not finishing, Bernard Kamungo remains one of the most dangerous attackers in the league and there was the first career MLS Next Pro goal for Luis Miguel Cardoso, who was often a threat leading the attack.
After the game, Coach Kah said “I was very proud of the boys, I was very proud of the performance… for us, that is a sign of growth”
When asked about positive takeaways from tonight’s match and Coach Kah responded “When you play away and the opposition is afraid, when they sit back it allows you to play… Overall happy with the performance, very proud of Luis Miguel for the things he came through to get his goal today”
Kah also cited the ‘Caps concerns for coming out of their defensive shape as a sign of growth and strength within North Texas.