Charlotte (N.C.) — The Charlotte Independence fell to the Charleston Battery 2-0 Saturday evening at Transamerica Field on the campus of UNC Charlotte in their 2017 season opener.
The Independence nearly netted the breakthrough goal in the early going as they earned the match’s first corner in the third minute. Defender Luke Waechter put his head on the cross from Lewis Hilton but the shot skimmed just over the crossbar.
The Independence went on to fire off eight first-half shots and six more in the second but were denied the first goal of the season. The game was scoreless after the first 45 minutes as goalkeeper Cody Mizell also kept the Battery out of the net for the first half. The Battery recorded 12 shots in the game, 11 of which came after the break, and moved ahead on the scoreboard in the 70th minute.
"I thought we started pretty well and had a pretty solid first half,” said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “We were never quite dangerous enough with the last play and we ended up making sort of poor decisions.”
Forward, Romario Williams netted the match’s first goal in the 70th minute. Defender, Forrest Lasso headed home a cross on a free kick from Justin Portillo to double the lead just moments later in the 77th minute.
David Spies, who came on as a sub in the 70th minute, nearly found the net for the Independence in the 80th minute but missed wide. Rookie, Callum Ross had a look from just inside the 18-yard box in added time but missed the mark.
"I think we started the game well,” said Independence forward Yann Ekra. “It's tough but it’s only the first game. So we have a long way to go this season and we're going to be ready to go for the next one."
The Independence will look to snag the first points of the season in week 3 of the USL regular season in an away matchup versus Orlando City B.