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FC Edmonton rues more missed chances in Carolina loss

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FC Edmonton finally looked like an expansion team.

After two wins to start the club’s first NASL season, the FC Edmonton couldn’t finish its chances, and were left red-faced in conceding two bad goals to the Carolina RailHawks Wednesday night in a 2-0 loss.

“The thing is, I think we created as many chances as they did, but we didn’t take ours,” said assistant coach Dave Randall. “And we gave up two very silly goals.”

Against Atlanta on Saturday, FC Edmonton came away with a 1-0 win, but were left biting their nails till the finish because of a bevy of missed chances from close range, with Trinidad and Tobago international Conrad Smith misfiring several times.

After just three minutes, Smith had a golden chance to put FC Edmonton up 1-0 in Carolina, but sent a shot wide of the far post from so close, it was harder to miss the net than hit it.

FC Edmonton’s Alex Surprenant, left, battles with Carolina’s Etienne Barbara.

“We missed the early chance and, after that, we didn’t play well for the first 30 minutes,” said Randall. “But, to be fair to Conrad, he played well. He didn’t make the right plays on a couple of crosses, but he was always a threat with his speed.”

Etienne Barbara scored his NASL-leading third goal during that half-hour spell of domination. RailHawk Kupono Low hit a low cross that defender Alex Surprenant should have dealt with. But the ball somehow got right through Suprenant, went past diving goalkeeper Rein Baart, and found the RailHawks’ Maltese striker, who had an easy time smashing the ball into an open goal.

Barbara was dominant in the first half. He sprung teammate Brian Farber with a deft pass, but Baart did well to come well out of goal and snuff out the threat.

Barbara also sent former Real Salt Lake man Pablo Campos in alone, but he was denied by Baart.

Campos had three more great chances to score in the game. He even had the ball in the back of the net in the second half, but the goal was called back for offside.

Smith could have got Edmonton a goal in the second, but his sliding attempt to scoot the ball home off a scrambled corner was blocked out by the Carolina defenders. And former Philadelphia Union keeper Brad Knighton made a superb stop on Shaun Saiko.

Finally, former Union midfielder Nick Zimmerman got the insurance goal on another FCE miscue. Baart came out of the goal to head a ball away from danger, splitting his two central defenders to do so. The ball came right to Zimmerman, who lofted the ball over Baart and into the open goal.

“At the start of the trip, if you would have told us we would have had six points, we would have been happy,” said Randall. “But, when we got six points out of six, we wanted to be greedy. We wanted nine or at least seven. And I think one point is what we deserved.”

Edmonton native Sam Lam, who started in midfield in place of Kyle Yamada, said the team is looking forward to getting back home. Before the three-game trip kicked off, the team held a one-week mini-camp in Florida, so it has spent the better part of the last three weeks away from home.

“It has been a very long trip,” he said. “The guys are looking forward to getting back home, and playing our first game next week in front of our home fans.”

That game is the Nutrilite Canadian Championship opener against Toronto FC, which goes at Commonwealth Stadium next Wednesday at 6 p.m. MT. Note the early kickoff time.

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One Comment

  1. Aragorn

    April 22, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Can we expect Randy Edwini-Bonsu in Edmonton soon?

    Reply

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