Goal scored by #11 Tresor Mbuyu (28’).
CHATTANOOGA, T.N. (October 1, 2022) – The Charlotte Independence were outscored by Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 3-1 on Saturday night at CHI Memorial Stadium. The Jacks are on the road again next weekend to face Greenville Triumph SC on Saturday, October 8.
“It was a tough result tonight, we feel like we could have gotten a point at least from the game,” Captain #17 Clay Dimick said. “But at this point in the season, we have to learn from it quickly and turn our attention to a huge game next Saturday in Greenville.”
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC took the first strike of the game in the first minute of play. It was #99 Moe Espinoza who took the shot from distance, but it soared high, wide and out of play for a Charlotte goal kick.
The Jacks earned their first free kick of the match in the 6th minute. #13 Chris Hegardt swung in the service to the near post, but it was cleared away by the Red Wolves defense.
It was Espinoza again causing trouble for the Jacks in the 10th minute. He played a pass out wide from the center of the pitch. The cross came in, was defended well by #5 Shalom Dutey, but straight to #99 who took the volley first time and gave the Red Wolves the lead by one.
Just minutes later Hegardt and #24 Grayson Barber combined well on the wing. The service was cleared and collected by #11 Tresor Mbuyu who laid a pass off to Dutey. His strike missed just over the crossbar.
Charlotte kept possession well in the 28th minute patiently waiting for just the right moment to strike. #16 Tomas Maya played a pass into Hegardt who turned to face goal. His knuckling shot challenged the Red Wolves keeper who was only able to get a hand on it, knocking it right to the feet of Mbuyu who was crashing at the back post. He tapped in the rebound for his 10th goal of the season.
“It’s not easy to play on the road,” Mbuyu said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way and now we need to keep on grinding for the next two games and staying together as family.”
The score was tied at halftime, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 1 – Charlotte Independence 1.
Just three minutes into the second half, the Charlotte Independence conceded a corner kick which led to the Red Wolves second goal of the match. It was #15 Timothy Mehl who scored off a header from the left side of the six yard box.
On the other end, Charlotte found Mbuyu off a long ball into the box. He took on one defender, but the second wave of coverage came sliding in to make the tackle. The Jacks earned a corner kick on the play, but were unable to take advantage of the set-piece opportunity.
Charlotte conceded another corner kick in the 69th minute which led to the Red Wolves final goal of the match. It was Mehl again who won the first header and #19 Juan Galindrez who buried the second into the net.
“We gave away two goals on set pieces on corners in the second half, that’s a killer when you’re on the road,” Charlotte Independence Head Coach, Mike Jeffires said. “We went into halftime 1-1 and felt like we were in a good spot and then to give away a set piece goal five minutes into the second half and another one 10 minutes later is killer. So, that’s frustrating.”
Several substitutions came in for the Jacks late in the match including #10 Ayrton Paez. In the 70th minute he connected with #18 Illia Shevtsov who played a through ball to Mbuyu who took a strike that barrelled off the crossbar.
In the 87th minute, Hegardt drew a foul inside the box earning the Jacks a penalty kick. He stepped up to take the kick shooting to left corner, but it was saved by the Chattanooga keeper.
Charlotte goalkeeper #30 Adrian Zendejas came up with a big diving save in the final minutes of stoppage time to disrupt a counter attack and keep the match at a 3-1 deficit.
“There were some guys who, maybe haven’t played as much lately, but got some minutes and made valuable contributions tonight,” Jeffries said. “We kept a pretty good fight until the end of the game and stayed with it.”
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence are on the road again next Saturday, October 8 to face Greenville Triumph SC at Legacy Early College, Greenville, South Carolina. First kick is set for 7:00 p.m. All Charlotte Independence away game can be live streamed for free at bahakelsports.com.