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Herrera Holds Nerve to Lift Independence

04/22/2016, 11:00pm EDT
By NICHOLAS MURRAY - Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spam bots. Necesita activar JavaScript para visualizarla

After missed penalty in opener, Colombian was on the spot in win against Richmond

Jorge Herrera.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As Jorge Herrera stood, waiting to take a stoppage-time penalty kick that would give the Charlotte Independence the lead, and potentially victory, against the Richmond Kickers on Friday night, his mind flashed back to the opening game of the season.

Then, Herrera’s effort had been saved by Louisville City FC goalkeeper Scott Goodwin, and the Independence had gone on to suffer a dramatic defeat.

“I was thinking about the last one that I took that I missed,” Herrera said after the game. “I wanted to be sure this time that I was going to score. I felt confident.”

His confidence was not misplaced, as his shot found the bottom-right corner for his second game-winning goal in as many games, and a 3-2 victory for the hosts at Ramblewood Stadium.

The win was Charlotte’s second in a row, as Herrera’s penalty kick capped a dramatic conclusion that saw Matthew Delicate equalize for the Kickers with two minutes to go before Charlotte regained the lead to claim all three points.

“It’s a huge three points,” said Charlotte Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “We have to give the guys so much credit for coming back after a late goal. Having the penalty and chance before that, that’s not an easy thing to do mentally. So it says a lot about the character of the guys here. I’m really, really pleased with that part of it.”

The Kickers had held an early lead when Sunny Jane scored his first goal for the club with a ripping shot from 30 yards, only for the Independence to get back on level terms just before the break through Caleb Calvert’s second goal of the season.

Enzo Martinez then produced his own piece of magic as both sides had chances to take the lead after the break. While Delicate’s goal appeared set to earn the visitors a point, the Independence will take a big slice of confidence with them as they prepare to head to face the New York Red Bulls II next weekend.

“It is very important to keep the momentum going especially now going away to New York,” said Martinez. “It is going to be huge. We are on a roll right now where we are getting wins. To be honest it is really important for us to get wins whether it is through me, through anyone. So it has been great.”

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