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 Charlotte Independence

First-Half Lead Not Enough as Independence Fall to Union Omaha

May 17, 2024 - United Soccer League One (USL1)
Charlotte Independence News Release


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Independence posted a stunning 1-4 loss to Union Omaha on Friday evening at American Legion Memorial Stadium. The Jacks are on the road against Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC on Saturday, May 25.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

The Jacks earned a corner kick in the ninth minute following a dangerous offensive chance by #14 Luis Alvarez and #7 Rayan Djedje. Alvarez played a through ball into Djedje whose shot was on target but blocked out the backline. Charlotte continued attacking with help from the wingbacks. #17 Clay Dimick launched a shot into the side netting of the goal in the 16th minute, keeping the pressure on the Owls.

A breakaway in the 26th minute for Alvarez was the most promising opportunity of the half, but an Omaha defender caught up with him and blocked the shot.

Not long after the rain began to pour, the Jacks took the lead in the 36th minute with #29 J.C. Obregón Jr.'s eighth goal of the season in all competitions. The striker hit a shot from inside the penalty area which was originally blocked by a defender but then fumbled into the back of the net.

Halftime: Charlotte Independence 1, Union Omaha 0.

The offense continued in the second half as #11 Tresor Mbuyu had multiple chances on goal to open the half. However, the visitors tied the score in the 54th minute after poor passes along the backline. Not long after, the Owls took the lead with another pass across the face of goal to score in the 62nd minute.

Charlotte had three clear chances in the 74th minute following a corner kick. Dimick's header bounced off the crossbar, #56 Gabriel Obertan's shot was blocked, and Mbuyu's strike landed out of bounds.

The momentum severely shifted in Omaha's favor after a third goal for the Owls in the 78th minute. Union Omaha added another goal in stoppage time to solidify the win.

Fulltime: Charlotte Independence 1, Union Omaha 4.

QUOTES:

Head Coach Mike Jeffries

On the first half lead

"It felt good. We had moments in the first half when we were shaky and had some poor giveaways and allowed counters, but we managed them. We felt good about the attacking movements and came into half feeling like we could close the game out."

On the second half defensive errors

"The first goal was a disgrace on our part, just really poor. Mentally, we checked out after that, and that's what frustrates me the most is that after the first goal, we stopped. That, to me, is very disappointing. I feel terrible for the fans to give up four goals in the second half at home.

#11 Tresor Mbuyu

On the offensive struggles

"We didn't communicate well on where players were moving and carrying the ball up top."

#4 Nick Spielman

On the defensive mindset when trailing

"We have to keep going and have confidence that we're going to get back in the game with the guys up top and be sound in the back."

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence are on the road on Saturday, May 25 against Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC.


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