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Charlotte Rolls Toronto 4-1 In Home Finale

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 9, 2015) — The Independence rolled to a 4-1 win against Toronto FC II on Wednesday night despite the water-logged conditions. The victory extends Charlotte’s unbeaten streak to 12 and provides a massive boost in the playoff race.

A weather delay due to lightning in the area did not stop Charlotte from taking an early lead. The Independence came out on the front foot, and really put the pedal to the metal when forward Tomasz Zahorski fought his way to a Daniel Jackson cross. Zahorski’s first effort was denied, along with the second, but his third found the back of the net.

The score remained the same going into halftime, despite a flurry of half-chances from Enzo Martinez and Zahorski.

Charlotte continued to dominate the game in the second half, but a stunning solo effort from Toronto’s Raheem Edwards in the 50th minute brought the score level.

In the 60th minute Charlotte’s man of the match, Head Coach Mike Jeffries, made three changes to the side, bringing on Caleb CalvertRyan Finley and Jack Thompson. Within three minutes the Independence were up 3-1.

Halftime substitute Jorge Herrera pounced on a Thompson pass and threaded a ball through the box to Finley. The forward let the ball roll across his body before he put it into the back corner.

Just a minute later, Calvert wiggled his way down the sideline and dropped a cross right on top of Thompson’s foot. The midfielder’s volley was a thing of beauty as he drove the ball with a waist high kick right into the corner.

Toronto threw everything forward as the game crept to a close, and Finley was able to punish a tired defense just before the final whistle. The tank-like striker busted between the centerbacks and rounded the keeper for his second goal of the match.

“We have a really competitive group of guys,” Jeffries said. “As the season goes on we expected the soccer to get better, and as the guys get to know each other we’ve improved. I think that really showed tonight.”

Charlotte’s fine run of form has come at just the right time as the season winds down. Herrera’s return from injury has bolstered the attacking options available and the Independence has scored nine goals in the last four games.

“We had a slow beginning because we were still getting to know each other,” Herrera said. “At this point we have come together. We are reaching our potential now. Tonight, we knew if we could just get a goal it would make our job easier. They got the equalizer, but in the end we fought and got to put the icing on the cake.”

The Independence are now three points above the playoff cut, but with two difficult road games left — at Saint Louis and Charleston — the race is far from over. Charlotte’s next match will be this Saturday against Saint Louis at 8:30pm ET.

— Compiled by Jared O’Neal, Charlotte Independence

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