Next home match is on Friday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Independence conceded two goals in Wednesday’s loss to South Georgia Tormenta FC at American Legion Memorial Stadium. The Jacks are on the road this Saturday, September 3 at FC Tucson then return home to face Greenville Triumph SC on Friday, September 9 for Great Clips Family Soccer Weekend.
“We played into their game plan tonight. We gave away the counter goal early, a set piece goal, and then we’re chasing the game,” Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “We weren’t able to create the chances we should have. They played a good disciplined road game and we had opportunities throughout the first half to break them down and we didn’t take advantage of them.”
Tormenta put the pressure on the Jacks early, earning a free kick just outside the box in the 6th minute of the match. The strike hit the post, bounced off the back of goalkeeper, #30 Adrian Zendejas, and to the feet of #9 Kazaiah Sterling who buried it in the back of the net. Charlotte trailed by one.
“We’ve been conceding too early too often,” defender Clay Dimick said. “We have to get back on the training ground and work to get a result on Saturday in Tucson.”
From then on, the Jacks seemed to build some positive momentum in the attacking third. First, it was Charlotte’s leading goal scorer #11 Tresor Mbuyu who broke through the back line. He dribbled into the box, but too many touches with minimal options in front allowed a defender to make up ground and block the shot.
In the 30th minute, #4 Diego Rocha found some space on the left flank. He played a dangerous low cross through the six yard box. Several players made a sliding effort, but none made contact.
Mbuyu led a similar play in the 32nd minute beating his defender on the dribble and dishing out another low cross into the box. #90 Khori Bennett got on the end of it this time, but his shot went wide and into the side netting.
Just before halftime, #7 Miguel Ibarra took a left-footed shot from distance. The curling strike was saved by the diving Tormenta goalkeeper, and former Jack, #00 TJ Bush.
At the half, Charlotte Independence 0 – South Georgia Tormenta FC 1
“This game took a lot out of us, physically. It’s been a hard week,” Jeffries said. “We’ll get a measure, physically, and the biggest part [for the next match] is our mentality to make sure we’re ready to play 90 minutes.”
#16 Tomas Maya subbed on to start the second half and was active for the Jacks putting in service after service from the wing. In the 53rd minute he cut a pass back to Mbuyu who had time to take a touch, but aimed the shot right at the Tormenta keeper.
Tormenta scored their second goal of the night in the 71st minute. This time it was #7 Kingsford Adjei who placed a shot into the lower right corner of the net.
The Jacks had some chances in the final minutes including two corner kicks, but they weren’t able to convert.
“It’s going to be a tough stretch now, but over seven games, anything is possible,” midfielder #56 Gabriel Obertan said. “If we play the way we’ve been playing the past month, it’s going to work out. I’m not worried, we just have to move onto Tucson.”
Zendejas kept the deficit at two with a diving save in stoppage time that came from a shot at the top of the box.
Final Score: Charlotte Independence 0 – South Georgia Tormenta FC 2
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence head out west to Tucson, Arizona to take on FC Tucson this Saturday, September 3. First kick is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET. Live stream all Charlotte Independence away games at bahakelsports.com.