Memphis 901 FC unable to find breakthrough in Southern Harm rivalry
The next chapter of the Southern Harm rivalry has been written and – as expected – there was plenty of physical play and intensity throughout. Memphis 901 FC came into the match with a chance to clinch a playoff spot in Birmingham and erase the memory of their previous trip to the Magic City, where they suffered a 3-0 defeat in the U.S. Open Cup in May.
Instead, the two clubs would share a point in a 1-1 result, both goals coming within four minutes of each other.
Birmingham scored the opening goal in the 48th minute as Prosper Kassim beat Drew Romig at his near post, the left-footed shot barreled into the bottom right corner. It was the second and final shot of the game for the Legion.
Memphis responded immediately with a build-up play that started with an Akeem Ward run just outside the box, eventually finding Samuel Careaga – a first half substitute due to a Carson Vom Steeg apparent injury – whose shot was deflected by the keeper. Aiden McFadden was the first to the ball, scoring his first goal for the club off the rebound.
McFadden’s goal builds off his success from Saturday’s match against Hartford Athletic, where he collected two assists and made 11 recoveries defensively. His performance was awarded with a spot in the USL Championship’s team of the week.
The mid-season addition made life difficult for Birmingham throughout the match. He played in a ‘wingback’ role alongside Ward, and both were flexible enough to be impactful on the attack while aiding the back three when in defense. The duo has combined to create nine chances in the past two games.
Outside of the sporadic play to begin the half, Memphis controlled the pace of the game. They held an advantage in almost every statistic imaginable but were not clinical enough in front of goal to leave Birmingham with all three points. Five of the six shots on target for Memphis were straight at the goalkeeper and were easily parried away.
Only four games remain on the schedule for Memphis (including another clash with Birmingham) as they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Rowdies on Saturday, September 23 at 6:30pm.
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