Charlotte Independence Downs Group G Leaders Birmingham Legion FC 3-1 Via Dane Kelly Brace at BBVA Compass Field
BIRMINGHAM - The Charlotte Independence utilized goals from Dane Kelly and Derek Gebhard to earn a 3-1 victory against Birmingham Legion FC at BBVA Compass Field. The Independence improved its 2020 USL Championship record to 6-3-3 and extended its unbeaten streak to three games.
Kelly began the scoring for the Independence in the first half and Gebhard's goal late in the second frame propelled the Independence to three points. The three goals marked the sixth time the Jacks have scored more than one goal in a match this season.
With the win, the Independence (6-3-3; 21 points), remain in second place in the Group G standings but move within one point of Legion FC (6-3-4; 22 points), followed by North Carolina FC (3-6-1; 10 points) and Memphis 901 FC (2-5-4; 10 points).
The match became a battle of wills and it was the Independence that got the crucial first goal just 17 minutes into the match. A cross into the box by Jake Areman bounced perfectly to Dane Kelly, who crisply powered in from close range to give the Jacks a 1-0 lead. The goal lit a fire under the Legion FC attack and the Independence lead would stand for just 17 minutes before Neco Brett's first-time effort sneaked past Brandon Miller in the 34th minute.
Just before halftime, Areman again found Kelly with a cross into the box. The forward met Areman's cross and headed a brilliant effort beyond the reach of Legion FC 'keeper Matt Vanoekel and inside the upper left corner to send the Jacks into the locker room with a 2-1 lead.
The goal was Kelly's tenth of the 2020 season, moving him ahead of Indy Eleven's Tyler Pasher for second in the Championship. His 87th career USL goal also furthered his advantage on top of the USL's all-time list.
The Independence carried the lead into the second half where cards began to take their toll on both teams. In the 60th minute, Legion FC had a player sent off as Anderson Asiedu received a second caution. Both teams kept up the high tempo despite Legion FC being reduced to 10-men.
The Independence continued to push throughout the period and would finally get the necessary third goal in the 86th minute when Gebhard finished a Guido Vadala through ball with his right foot for his second goal of the year.
In the 89th minute, the Jacks were also reduced to 10-men as Joel Johnson received his second yellow card of the match. Johnson will now miss the Jacks' next match against North Carolina FC. #BHMvCLT was the fourth and final meeting between the two Group G teams, with Legion FC being the only Group G team that had not lost to the Independence before tonight.
Next on the Schedule: The Independence heads to Cary, N.C. to tackle Group G rival North Carolina FC. The game will be broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
CLT - Dane Kelly, 17th minute: Junior Etou played a ball from midfield into the left corner for Jake Areman to run down. He controlled the ball and made a cross to the middle of the box, looking for Dane Kelly. A deflected ball fell to Kelly, who pounced on the loose ball from just inside the penalty area and smashed home the opening goal of the match. CLT 1, BHM 0
BHM - Neco Brett (Jonathan Dean), 34th minute: Anderson Asiedu played a ball centrally from midfield to the top of the box to Bruno Lapa. Lapa flicked a pass one-time to an on-running Jonathan Dean into the right side of the box. Dean then sent a ball back into the penalty area where Neco Brett met it with a curling run to smack a low, one-time shot through traffic into the lower right corner of Brandon Miller's goal. CLT 1, BHM 1
CLT - Dane Kelly (Jake Areman), 45th minute: The Independence once again played a ball from midfield into the left corner, this time Joel Johnson played a long ball from midfield into the left corner for Luke Haakenson to run down. Haakenson received the ball, faced up his defender and made a smart pass back to Jake Areman, who crossed into the penalty area, again looking for Kelly. Kelly beat his man and sent a header flying past 'keeper Matt Vanoekel. CLT 2, BHM 1
CLT - Derek Gebhard (Guido Vadala), 86th minute: Guido Vadala received the ball 15 yards above the penalty area and sent a quick pass behind the Legion FC defender to Derek Gebhard, who controlled the ball on the right side before sending his shot just inside the right post. CLT 3, BHM 1
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CLT 2 1 3
BHM 1 0 1
CLT - Dane Kelly 17th minute
BHM - Neco Brett (Jonathan Dean) 34th minute
CLT - Dane Kelly (Jake Areman) 45th minute
CLT - Derek Gebhard (Guido Vadala) 86th minute
CLT: 33-Brandon Miller; 22-Joel Johnson, 3-Hugh Roberts, 14-Duke Lacroix, 17-Clay Dimick, 4-Jake Areman (18-Aaron Maund, 90'), 7-Rey Ortiz (11-Derek Gebhard, 69'), 15-Luke Haakenson (23-Guido Vadala, 69'), 21-Junior Etou, 9-Dane Kelly (90-Christian Chaney, 90'), 19-Enzo Martinez(captain)
Subs Not Used: 1-Austin Pack, 20-Oscar Ramsay, 32-Tresor Mbuyu,
Head Coach: Mike Jeffries
BHM: 1-Matt Vanoekel; 3-Boluwatife Akinyode, 5-Mikey Lopez, 21-Alex Crognale, 24-Jonathan Dean; 6-Anderson Asiedu, 8-Bruno Lapa, 10-Prosper Kasim (16-Daigo Kobayashi, 78'), 12-Eli Crognale, 11-Neco Brett (7-Brian Wright, 78'), 17-Jaden Servania (9-J.J. Williams, 45')
Subs Not Used: 99-Ford Parker, 4-Josh Bauer, 13-Jake Rufe, 30-Razak Cromwell
Head Coach: Tom Soehn
Stats Summary CLT/ BHM:
Shots: 17 / 13
Shots on Goal: 8 / 2
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 12
Offside: 3 / 2
CLT - Junior Etou (caution) 23rd minute
CLT - Dane Kelly (caution) 30th minute
BHM - Anderson Asiedu (caution) 48th minute
BHM - Anderson Asiedu (second caution, red) 60th minute
CLT - Duke Lacroix (caution) 81st minute
CLT - Joel Johnson (caution) 88th minute
CLT - Joel Johnson (caution) 90th minute
Referee: Matt Thompson
Assistant Referee: Ben Rigel
Assistant Referee: Sam Bierster
Fourth Official: Diego Chulan
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