CHARLOTTE, NC – The first place Charlotte Independence recorded a shutout against Bethlehem Steel FC on Wednesday night in a 1-0 victory to extend their home unbeaten streak to six games.
2016 USL MVP Finalist and Independence forward, Enzo Martinez scored the only goal of the game in the 32nd minute, burying a shot in the lower left corner of the net to record his 13th goal of the season. Last season, Martinez recorded nine goals and five assists throughout the season, and after Wednesday's night game, is only two goals off the league's lead for top scorer.
Independence goalkeeper Cody Mizell had an impressive game as well, making seven saves throughout the game, which aided Charlotte's fifth clean sheet of 2017. Notably, his diving save in the 65th minute of the game following a Steel FC shot drilled just inside the right hand post, earned him the Wells Fargo Save of the Game.
Into the first half's stoppage time, Steel FC was able to create a chance, but the shot went straight into goalkeeper Cody Mizell’s hands. The teams went back and forth with possession throughout the second half of the game, fighting for another score.
Two yellow cards were issued in the game. The first came in the 14th minute to James Chambers for Steel FC. The second was issued to Donnie Smith for the Independence in the 54th minute. Bethlehem was rewarded a free kick for a foul late in the game in the 85th minute just outside of the box, creating a promising chance for a goal, but was to no avail as the shot went just high of the crossbar.
The Charlotte Independence remain undefeated at their new home stadium at the Sportsplex at Matthews and improve to 12-4-7 on the season. The Jacks sit in first place in the USL Eastern Conference table. They will play next on Saturday, August 19th at home again at the Sportsplex at Matthews.