Goals scored by #10 Miguel Ibarra (39’) and #11 Tresor Mbuyu (90’)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 27, 2022) – The Charlotte Independence tied Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 2-2 on Saturday night at American Legion Memorial Stadium with the Jacks equalizer coming in the final minute of regulation play. The Jacks are back at American Legion Memorial Stadium this Wednesday, August 31 for a mid-week match vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Toy donations benefiting Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital will be accepted at the match.
Charlotte conceded an early goal in the 2nd minute of play forcing them to chase the game early on. After escaping another dangerous opportunity from the Red Wolves in the 5th minute, the Jacks flipped the switch and stepped up the level of play.
“I thought we showed a little character and resilience tonight to pull ourselves back from being down 2-1,” Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “So, that was great to see and even to hang in the game when we struggled and conceded a really early goal and kind of pulled ourselves back in and were sharper to get the equalizer.”
In the 18th minute, #5 Shalom Dutey played a slotted pass into midfielder #56 Gabriel Obertan. Obertan maneuvered a cheeky heel flick onto a dashing #10 Miguel Ibarra. It was a foot race, but the Chattanooga goalkeeper came off his line to make the clearance.
Ibarra scored his third goal of the season in the 39th minute showcasing his skills with a scissor kick that bounced up and over the Chattanooga goalkeeper. He was assisted by #90 Khori Bennett.
“We were coming into this match with the mentality to grab three points here but we only came out with one,” Ibarra said. “We know we’re better than how we played in the first and part of the second half, but we were able to get a point out of it. I think it’s important now for us to get back, recover and get after it for Wednesday’s game.”
The match was tied at halftime: Charlotte Independence 1 – Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 1.
The Red Wolves scored their second goal of the match in the 61st minute after another cross into the box found the open #99 Ernesto Espinoza who headed it into the back of the net.
Just minutes later #3 Hector Acosta conceded a penalty kick inside the box. The Red Wolves #10 José Carrera-Garcia attempted to chip Charlotte keeper #30 Adrian Zendejas who, with a quick reaction, had enough time to make the one-handed grab. The save kept the Jacks within one.
#11 Tresor Mbuyu was looking more and more dangerous in the 72’ minute of play after a cross from #16 Tomas Maya bounced to his feet. He took one touch and volleyed the shot just wide and out for a corner kick.
The play of the game came in the 90th minute. #15 Carson Talboys headed the ball into the midfield where #18 Illia Shevtsov collected it. He played a pass in the air to Ibarra who flicked it on for the give and go. Shevtsov slotted a pass through two defenders to Mbuyu who was one on one with the keeper. He dragged it with his right foot and finished with his left, tying the match in the final seconds of regulation.
“I think as we’re coming up toward the end of the game, a lot of players are getting fatigued and we know it’s time to push even though we have a couple of injuries and a couple guys who are fatigued. So, it’s harder, but that mentality is there that we want to push forward to the top.” Mbuyu said.
The Jacks battled for four minutes of stoppage before the final whistle earning a hard-fought point against a competitive Chattanooga squad.
“We’re hoping to get the guys in tomorrow and try to push guys, and we’ll see where guys are on Monday and Tuesday and then make decisions on who plays and how we play on Wednesday,” Jeffries said.
Final score: Charlotte Independence 2 – Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 2
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence are back at American Legion Memorial Stadium this Wednesday, August 31. First kick is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at charlotteindependence.com.