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Independence Hold On For 3-2 Win Over Charleston

Game Recaps Presented By Wells Fargo

CHARLOTTE, NC (April 16, 2016) — The Charlotte Independence held on for a 3-2 win over the Charleston Battery at Ramblewood Stadium on Saturday night. Enzo Martinez and Brian Brown gave the Independence a 2-0 halftime lead, while substitute Jorge Herrera added a third goal after the break. But late goals from the Battery’s Romario Williams and Justin Portillo made for a dramatic conclusion, which required the Wells Fargo Save of the Game by Independence goalkeeper Cody Mizell in stoppage time.

“We should’ve seen the game out more easily than we did – we were very naïve at the end,” said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “We’ve been in tight games a fair amount and this was the first time we’ve been up from the get go and I thought we went into a bit of a shell after we gave up the first one.”

An early tackle from Bilal Duckett prevented an opportunity on goal for Charleston, which ultimately put Charlotte in the ascendancy offensively throughout the first half. Caleb Calvert produced the first shot on target in the 13th minute and he nearly scored from the resulting corner, but his header went straight at the keeper. Brown headed one over the bar moments later, as the Independence continued to press the Charleston back line.

Duckett made another block in the 22nd minute, which led to David Estrada winning a penalty at the other end, as he was brought down by Battery defender Shawn Ferguson. Martinez stepped up to take the penalty kick and sent keeper Alex Tambakis the wrong way, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead after 26 minutes.

Two minutes later, Charleston had its own penalty kick waved offside by the linesman after Henry Kalungi fouled his man in the box. But Brown was able to double the Charlotte lead when he turned in Calvert’s rebound, which had careened off the crossbar.

“It’s good to get the first goal of the season but I need to do more,” said Brown. “At the end of the day we got three points and that’s what we work for.”

Looking to build on a tremendous first half performance, Martinez had two chances to add a third goal but fired into the side netting on 66 minutes before fizzing a shot wide of the post. Second-half substitute Herrera slotted home following a turnover inside the Charleston box to make it 3-0 after 70 minutes.

But Williams poached a goal against the run of play with a right-footed effort with less than 15 minutes remaining. Charleston’s Zach Prince was then shown a red card for a foul on Herrera, meaning Charleston had to play with 10-men for the final seven minutes. However, the Battery were awarded a penalty kick when Ataullah Guerra was fouled in the box by Yann Ekra, and Portillo converted from the spot.

Charlotte (2-2-0), who rebounded from last week’s 2-1 loss at Cincinnati, handed Charleston (2-1-1) its first defeat of the season. The Independence will hope to keep that momentum rolling into next Friday’s match with the Richmond Kickers (2-0-1), who will be coming in off a Sunday afternoon contest with Bethlehem Steel FC. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm ET at Ramblewood Stadium.



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