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 Charlotte Independence

Four Unanswered Goals Lead the Jacks to Victory Over Chattanooga

June 14, 2024 - United Soccer League One (USL1)
Charlotte Independence News Release


CHARLOTTE, NC. - The Charlotte Independence earned a 4-2 victory at home against the Chattanooga Red Wolves SC on Friday night at American Legion Memorial Stadium. The Jacks head to Greenville, South Carolina, on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m. against Greenville Triumph SC. Purchase tickets at charlotteindependence.com/tickets.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

Early miscommunication by the Independence gave Chattanooga an advantage with a goal from #10 Mayele Malango in the first minute. The Red Wolves doubled the lead shortly after with another goal by Malango, assisted by #22 Stefan Lukic.

The Jacks responded with sustained pressure as #29 JC Obregón Jr. narrowly missed a chance following a one-on-one breakaway against the Chattanooga goalkeeper. The first half progressed with the Independence creating numerous attacking opportunities. A foul just outside the penalty area by a Chattanooga defender led to a free kick for the Independence. #4 Nick Spielman delivered a cross to Obregón Jr., who headed the ball just over the goal.

In stoppage time of the first half, #14 Luis Alvarez sent a cross into the box, allowing #9 Kharlton Belmar to volley the ball into the net, reducing the deficit to one goal at halftime.

Halftime: Charlotte Independence 1, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 2.

Charlotte started the second half strong, creating multiple chances in front of goal. The Jacks found success with crosses into the box, and in the 57th minute, #13 Anton Sorenson delivered a firm pass which Obregón Jr. calmly finished to tie the game. This was Sorenson's first goal contribution of the season.

As the second half progressed, possession fluctuated between both teams. A crucial save by Independence goalkeeper #1 Austin Pack kept Charlotte in the game with just 10 minutes remaining.

In the 83rd minute, Alvarez unleashed a powerful shot into the top right corner, scoring his fifth goal in all competitions and giving the Jacks a lead.

Just minutes later, in the 87th minute, the Independence extended its lead to two goals as #56 Gabriel Obertan lofted a ball into the box for Obregón Jr., who secured his second goal of the night.

Fulltime: Charlotte Independence 4, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 2.

IN THE NUMBERS:

The Independence scored four unanswered goals.

#9 Kharlton Belmar scored his second goal of the season in all competitions, first in USL League One play.

#29 J.C. Obregón Jr. scored his 10th and 11th goals in all competitions this season. This was Obregón Jr.'s third brace of the season.

#13 Anton Sorenson made his first goal contribution of the season, assisting on Obregón Jr.'s goal.

#14 Luis Alvarez scored his fifth goal in all competitions and added his fourth assist of the season.

#56 Gabriel Obertan recorded his fourth assist in the last three matches.

QUOTES:

Head Coach Mike Jeffries

On the rough start

"The start couldn't have been more disastrous. The first goal was kind of a flukey goal, but we weren't really mentally in it either. We never touched the ball and had a miscommunication on a basic play. We let it impact us too much, and it was a concentration mistake on the second goal, so it was almost two gifts. I give the guys credit for hanging in at that point. The key for us was getting the goal at the end of the first half."

On how the team turned the game around

"Even when it got to 2-0, we slowly took control of the game, started to have possession, and got some chances and were pretty effective. At 2-0, they had the one chance at the end of the first half, but by and large, we limited what they were able to do with the ball. Then we came out in the second half, I thought we upped the level enough to make it difficult, and we got a few good goals out of it."

#9 Kharlton Belmar

On the importance of his goal before halftime

"It was really important to go into halftime getting back into the game, and I think it helped us carry momentum into the second half where we got the rest of the goals we needed."

On what the team can learn from this performance

"As much as we don't want to go down 2-0, I think it shows a lot of heart and is something we can definitely build on for the games to come, showing that resilience to battle back and get a win."

#14 Luis Alvarez

On how the team was able to turn the score around

"With the right attitude and right mentality, we never gave up even though we went down two goals, we were able to turn it around."

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence face Greenville Triumph on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Paladin Stadium in Greenville, SC. The match can be streamed on ESPN+.


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