Take Advantage of Set Pieces
Legion FC scored the first of its three goals against North Carolina FC off of a set piece. Midfielder Daniel Johnson floated the ball into a dangerous area in the box, defender Kyle Fisher rose highest to knock it down to forward Prosper Kasim and his shot was redirected into the goal by Femi Hollinger-Janzen.
Birmingham’s ability to threaten on set pieces will be important to coming away from the Conference Quarterfinals with a victory.
Hit on the Counter
Against NCFC, BHM was able press the opponent in dangerous areas, pull them out of their shape, and create opportunities on the counterattack often. The black and gold’s defensive prowess helped them to win the ball back within their own half and move the ball up the field quickly to take advantage of an over-committed North Carolina FC side.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC is likely to do the same, with its high level of intensity in the attack, and organization in defense, seen in the recent 0-1 result with Birmingham on October 20. Remaining stout at the back will be crucial and capitalizing on the ensuing chances on the counter will be key to advancing to the next rounds of the USL Championship Playoffs.
The boys put three past North Carolina, but still squandered a couple of opportunities that would have made for a more comfortable win in Cary. Legion FC has struggled to finish chances consistently throughout the course of the season, but its performance against NC established a shift in focus from the squad and built confidence attacking.
“I think it helps a lot knowing that when prior to this week we were struggling going forward, we’re now able to focus on making our movements crisp and creating full-chances instead of half-chances or little looks,” said forward JJ Williams, after scoring the game winner Wednesday. “I think we really focused and buckled down when it comes to moving forward.”