BOCA RATON, FL— Despite a strong team performance, Boca Raton Football Club fell to visiting Jacksonville Armada 2-1 at Atlantic High School on Saturday evening.
The game got off to a slow start as the Armada scored a goal within the first minute when the Armada’s Derek Gebhard earned an early free kick outside of the box and Alhassane Keita stepped up to take it. Keita’s shot went right over the Boca Raton FC wall and into the net to put the Armada on the board.
However, despite the early goal, Boca Raton FC keep pushing for the equalizer and played toe-to-toe with the Armada.
10 minutes later Boca Raton got its breakthrough as newcomer Gabriel Diniz sent a pass into the Armada box to Carlos Meneses who rifled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net from 8 yards out to equalize the game.
Boca settled into the game nicely from this point on having good spells of possession and putting pressure on the Armada defense.
The first half continued to see both sides have chances on each end of the pitch. At the 35 minute mark, a questionable penalty was called for the Armada as Boca Raton FC appeared to have fouled outside the left side of the box. Keita, converted the penalty to grab his second goal of the game. With the lead Jacksonville continued to force some great saves from the goalkeeper, Octavio Venegas.
“After we equalized the game we said to each other that we can battle with these guys [Jacksonville Armada],” said forward Alex Norton. “We had great opportunities but were unable to convert, we are just now starting to get comfortable with each other and we will continue to make big strides this season.”
In the early stages of the second half, Jacksonville amped up the pressure against the Boca Raton defense, who collectively stayed strong as a unit at the back. Venegas made a great save in the 53rd minute, denying Jacksonville a free header on the edge of a six-yard box.
Boca Raton FC nearly tied the game again in the 60th minute when Meneses fired a rocket just over the bar with an audacious effort from 25 yards out. Boca Raton continued to put good pressure on the Armada and keeping procession of the ball pretty equal on both sides.
Despite Boca Raton forcing Jacksonville to play defensively as they worked their hardest to tie the game up, they were unable to close the one-goal gap and had to settle for a 2-1 loss.
Boca Raton’s next match versus Miami FC 2 has been postponed due to Miami’s advancement in the U.S. Open Cup, making the next Boca Raton FC game Saturday, May 19 as they take on Naples United at Atlantic High School.
Tickets are available online at www.bocaratonfc.com/tickets.