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Charlotte Independence Sweep Hartford in Come from Behind Win

October 22, 2021 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Charlotte Independence News Release


HARTFORD, CT - The Charlotte Independence scored two goals in the second half to come from behind and defeat Hartford Athletic by a score of 2-1 tonight at Dillon Stadium. Your Jacks return home for a mid week match up vs. Loudoun United FC on Wednesday, October 27. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM (ET) at American Legion Memorial Stadium. Click here for tickets.

All eyes were on #29 Dane Kelly up top tonight searching for his 100th career goal, and he got right to work getting your Charlotte Independence some decent looks on goal early in the match. In the 3rd minute of play he found himself in behind the Hartford defense. He took the strike, but it was saved by the Hartford Goalkeeper, #13 Jeff Caldwell.

Hartford first tested the Independence defense in the 7th minute with a ball over the top that trickled in and around the six yard box. It was #3 Hugh Roberts who tracked back and made the sliding tackle to keep things all square early on in the match.

Possession continued back and forth for a bit until Hartford found some space on the wing in the 38th minute. The cross came in and Roberts, facing his own goal, made a sliding attempt to send it out of play, but the ball unfortunately found the back of his own net. Hartford took the lead off an own goal.

One substitution to start the second half brought #8 Marcelo Palomino on in place of #56 Sylvain Marveaux.

The Jacks looked far more aggressive in the attacking third after a string of passes resulted in a dangerous cross into the box. Kelly placed a header backwards towards #32 Gabriel Obertan who took the left-footed volley first time and into the back of the net.

Hartford, however, didn't let up and found themselves on the counter attack once again in the 57th minute. It was #29 Juan Carlos Obregon Jr. who attempted to chip a shot over Goalkeeper #1 Austin Pack. Your Jacks escaped unscathed and the score remained tied, CLT 1 - HFD 1.

The Independence kept pressing and it all came down to Midfielder #7 Joel Johnson to finish the game once and for all. He dribbled down the right-hand side of the pitch, cut back once and bending the shot around Crawford, secured the come from behind win. The final score, CLT 2 - HFD 1.

"I feel happy for the victory and obviously scoring the winning goal is a blessing," stated Johnson. "This time it's my turn, but I want to highlight the attitude of the team once again for getting the courage and taking the three points in a difficult game."

"It was a gritty performance in a lot of ways. Hartford played very well, they had good intensity and gave us some trouble," stated Charlotte Independence Head Coach, Mike Jeffries. "I felt like the attacks were dangerous, especially early, so for us to come back after being a goal down at half time just pushed the game which was fantastic and then the caliber we got from Gabi and Joel to get two goals was huge. When it got to 2-1 I thought we did a good job of closing down so credit to the guys. It was a good, intense performance. I think we knew that's what the game was going to be coming in and it's good for us to get the result."

Your Jacks are excited to return home next week to close out the regular season in front of the fans who have supported them along the way. "I would tell the fans to come and support the team," Johnson explained. "We would like to share time with them and return the affection that they have shown us throughout the season, they have definitely been fundamental for us and we would like to return that affection in the last game of the season."

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence host Loudoun United FC at American Legion Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, October 27 at 5:30 PM (ET).


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