Game Recaps presented by Wells Fargo
CHARLESTON, SC (Aug. 27, 2016) — The Charleston Battery on Saturday night ended the Charlotte Independence’s six-match unbeaten run with a lone second half goal at MUSC Health Stadium. The defeat sees Charleston (11-5-9, 41pts) leap over Charlotte (11-7-6, 39 pts) in the Eastern Conference standings with just six games remaining on the season.
In a dormant first half with possession dominated by the Independence, Enzo Martinez nearly caught Charleston flat-footed unleashing a well-struck shot on target, which was pushed behind by the keeper in the 10th minute. Joel Johnson then did well in the 33rd minute to ensure the game stayed scoreless when he got across to prevent an open header for the Battery inside the six-yard box.
The Battery put the visitors on the back foot to start the second half, as Ataullah Guerra’s pass found Ricky Garbanzo in open space only for him to be flagged offside. Moments later, Brian Brown saw his left-footed effort go wide of the post, as the Independence looked for the head of their first half possession. But it was the hosts who made it 1-0 when an open Maikel Chang slotted home a cross by Guerra from six yards out in the 50th minute.
The Independence appeared to have equalized three minutes later as second-half substitute Yann Ekra’s right-footed strike hit the underside of the bar — and seemed to come down over the goal line before bouncing out — but the referee did not award the goal. The midfielder then had a second chance inside a tense final five minutes, as his thrashing effort forced Charleston goalkeeper Alex Tambakis into a stretching save.
Charleston nearly doubled the lead in the 88th minute with Charlotte committing men forward, though John Berner kept the deficit at just one for the Wells Fargo Save of the Game. Brown, who is tied on seven goals as the team’s leading scorer, came within inches of scoring on the final kick, but his left-footed volley went wide.
The Independence return to action Wednesday night when they host FC Cincinnati at Ramblewood Stadium to complete the inaugural Queen City Cup Challenge. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm ET.
Charleston: Tambakis, Woodbine, Lasso, Ferguson, Griffith, Hackshaw, Portillo, Chang (Adjetey 80), Guerra (Williams 63), Marini (Prince 56), Garbanzo (Tonis 77).
Unused subs: Beebe, Mueller, Cordoves.
Goals: Chang (50).
Charlotte: Berner, Slogic, Kalungi (Clowes 71), Duckett, Johnson (Metcalf 87), Hilton (Ekra 62), E. Martinez, Davidson, Estrada (Herrera 62), Brown, A. Martinez (Hassan 69).
Unused subs: Mizell, Yearwood.
— Compiled by Allen Gunn, Charlotte Independence