Game Recaps presented by Wells Fargo
VAUGHN, ON (Sept. 4, 2016) – The playoff-bound Charlotte Independence (13-7-6) on Sunday afternoon handed Toronto FC II (6-17-5) their fifth-straight loss, this one by a score of 5-1 at Ontario Soccer Centre.
The Independence benefitted from their opening possession with David Estrada earning a corner kick after just four minutes that lead to the opening goal. Patrick Slogic was first to the loose ball following Jorge Herrera’s dangerous delivery, as TFCII goalkeeper Clint Irwin could only punch the ball down inside his six-yard box.
The Independence nearly made it a dream start two minutes later, but Brian Brown fired his attempt on an empty net into the side of the goal. Alex Martinez then tested Irwin, as he cut in from the left only for his right-footed attempt to find the keeper’s reach.
A busy Irwin was called back into action with a reaction save less than two minutes later on Estrada, who was left at the back post for an open volley on target.
Goalkeeper Cody Mizell, starting in place of recently recalled Colorado Rapids loanee John Berner, had little to do in the first half but preserved the one-goal lead with a save on Raheem Edwards in the 34th minute. He tipped the goal-bound shot from distance for the Wells Fargo Save of the Game.
Martinez scored a deserved second goal for Charlotte when he collected the ball in the box before dispatching a shot past Irwin six minutes from halftime for a 2-0 advantage.
The Independence maintained their pressure on the opposition’s goal and increased their lead to 3-0 after the break, as Estrada looped a shot with his left foot around the keeper after being played into the area by Yann Ekra’s midfield pass.
Despite a 58th minute goal by Brian James, which beat Mizell from distance, Charlotte furthered the margin of victory to 5-1 with late strikes from substitutes Aly Hassan and Norberto Ochoa.
With the win, Charlotte moved up to third place in the Eastern Conference standings. They are still chasing a top four finish with four regular-season games remaining, including three against other current playoff teams. The Independence is back in action at home on Saturday, Sept. 10, when they take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (6-15-5) at Ramblewood Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm ET.
Toronto: Irwin, Charpie, Maletic (Hodge 46), Simonin (Romeo 62), Osorio, Bouchard (Sakurai 46), James, Babouli, Edwards (Johnson 85), John (Hundal 77), Hamilton.
Unused subs: Cavalluzzo (GK), Davis.
Goals: James (58).
Charlotte: Mizell (GK), Slogic, Bartlett, Greenspan, Metcalf, Clowes (Yearwood 86), A. Martinez (Kryst 88), Ekra (Hilton 69), Estrada (Ochoa 69), Brown (Hassan 69), Herrera.
Unused subs: Renfro, Spies.
Goals: Slogic (4), Martinez (39), Estrada (53), Hassan (88), Ochoa (93).
Bookings: Herrera, Brown, Slogic.
— Compiled by Allen Gunn, Charlotte Independence