MATCH RECAP: North Carolina FC Comes Back Twice to Defeat Tormenta in Big Road Win

South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 – 3 North Carolina FC

STATESBORO, GA— It was certainly a strange start between South Georgia Tormenta FC and North Carolina FC Saturday night. But a brace from the penalty spot from Rafa Mentzingen and a second-half goal from Oalex Anderson, Jr. bumped NCFC’s unbeaten streak to seven games as the Dead Whales came from behind twice to bag all three points.

Both clubs were debuting their brand-new alternate kits, but in the match’s opening minutes, an issue came up with Tormenta’s jerseys. While the front of the jersey is black, the back is white. With NCFC’s white jersey and both teams wearing dark shorts, it was difficult to tell the teams apart, and lead referee Donovan Eubank asked the home team to switch out their jerseys.

With the kit swap out of the way (kudos to the South Georgia equipment manager for quickly getting all-dark kits out to the field), the game was back underway.

Tormenta wasted no time putting the pressure on the North Carolina defense. Off the restart, Tobias Otieno drove and gave the ball over to Pedro Fonseca, who took a left-footed shot that forced North Carolina goalkeeper Brooks Thompson to make his first save.

North Carolina put on the counter-press and forced Tormenta to concede a free kick. Rafa Mentzingen’s curling attempt almost had Pablo Jara beat, but the South Georgia goalkeeper managed to just get his fingertips on the ball to tip it over the crossbar.

Moments later, Tormenta won a free kick from 30 yards out. Fonseca rolled the ball into the box for Kaziah Sterling. Alone at the endline, Sterling turned and tried a shot that Kingsford Adjei redirected into the net to give the home team the lead in the 13th minute.


North Carolina held up under pressure from Tormenta before flipping the game back toward South Georgia’s end and creating scoring opportunities. In the 33rd minute, Anderson sent an outlet pass to Garrett McLaughlin, who drove toward the goal before being taken down by Nick Akoto.

Jara guessed correctly, but Rafa Mentzingen had plenty of power on the spot kick to beat the Tormenta keeper and even the score.

Five minutes later, South Georgia would retake the lead when Mukwelle Akale carried the ball into the North Carolina defensive third, drawing the NCFC defense toward him before laying the ball off to Sterling, who was making the supporting run into the box. Sterling took a touch to put the North Carolina defense on skates before making the simple finish to make it 2-1.

Tormenta’s lead would last only a couple of minutes. This time it was Anderson drawing the penalty on the South Georgia defense after taking the pass from Louis Pérez and trying to gain space in the box for a shot.

It was a cut-and-paste PK: Mentzingen went to the right again, but this time Jara dove left, and it was an easy brace for Rafa.


While statistically, the first half looked fairly even, North Carolina wanted to come out and set the tone for the second half. Right out of the gate, Pérez drove into the attacking zone but didn’t have enough help to finish the play.

But South Georgia had a point to prove themselves, looking to take the season series and move up the table. Raheem Somersall put in a good shift in midfield, breaking up Tormenta’s build-up play through midfield and setting up his North Carolina teammates on the counter-attack. And Thompson came up with some big stops to keep NCFC in the game.

Who else would it be but Anderson putting away the game-winner for the Dead Whales in the 76th minute. Nelson Flores Blanco, who also delivered another solid game, bounced a low ball into the box. It trickled through the legs of McLaughlin, who was under heavy pressure from his defender. Anderson made a run across the box to get to the ball. He turned and fired the ball that may have taken a deflection past Jara to give North Carolina their first lead of the night.

North Carolina held on under a furious Tormenta attack as they looked to rescue a point, and at the final whistle, NCFC had all three points and (with Northern Colorado’s loss at home to Lexington) moved to the top of the table.


John Bradford’s boys are hitting the ice baths and getting ready for a trip up I-95 on Wednesday to take on their rivals in Richmond. North Carolina FC will be back in the friendly confines of WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, August 12, to take on Greenville Triumph SC at 7:00 p.m. You can get tickets at

North Carolina FC (4-4-2): B. Thompson; C. Lue Young, D. Garcia, G. Fernandes, N. Flores Blanco; L. Pérez (M. Flick 77’), R. Somersall, M. Maldonado, R. Mentzingen (L.Arriaga 62’); G. McLaughlin© (P. Popp 90+2’), O. Anderson (D.J. Benton 77’)

South Georgia Tormenta FC (4-4-2): P. Jara; N. Akoto, D. Knutson, P. Kilwien, D. Mason; M. Akale (E. Amo 77’), C. Heckenberg (J. Murphy 77’), T. Otieno, K. Adjei (J. Khoury 65’); P. Fonseca (M. Cassini 68’), K. Sterling©

North Carolina FC: 3
South Georgia Tormenta FC: 2

North Carolina FC: R. Mentzigen (PK) 35’; 42’ R. Mentzingen (PK); O. Anderson (unassisted) 76’
South Georgia Tormenta FC: K. Adjei (K. Sterling) 13’; 39’ K. Sterling (M. Akale)

North Carolina FC: G. Fernandes (YC 21’); C. Lue Young (YC 45+2’); D.J. Benton (YC 86’)
South Georgia Tormenta FC: K. Sterling (YC 32’); N. Akoto (YC 34’) T. Oteno (YC 48’); J. Murphy (YC 86’)

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