Herrera's Highlight Finish as Independence Fall Short
Matthews (N.C.) - A brace by Daniel Rios canceled out a wondergoal by Jorge Herrera as the Charlotte Independence fell to North Carolina FC, 3-1, at home on the last day of the USL regular season. This snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak by the Independence.
"Frustrating end to the season, which is probably emblematic of how some of the things have gone this year," said Independence head coach Mike Jeffries. "I appreciate the guys' energy and effort and what they put into the game but the same things that plagued us throughout the year certainly showed up again tonight."
The first half saw a lot of action as both teams found the back of the net in the opening ten minutes of the match. The visitors struck first as Daniel Rios opened the scoring in the 5th minute to give North Carolina FC the lead. The Independence responded immediately in the 6th minute through Jorge Herrera as the veteran timed a bicycle kick to perfection inside the box to score his 12th goal of the season and level the score at the Sportsplex at Matthews.
"It was unbelievable and one of those things that you think about in the moment and go for it," said Herrera. "When I turned around and it was in the back of the net, I was like, wow, what just happened?"
A flurry of chances by both teams produced a back and forth affair in the second half. With North Carolina FC pushing numbers forward, Daniel Rios found the back of the net again, chipping Independence goalkeeper Brandon Miller to give the visitors the lead in the 87th minute. North Carolina FC tacked on one more in the 93rd minute, this time through Steven Miller.
The Independence finish the season with a record of 10-12-12 and a total of 42 points. The club wants to thank the fans for their tireless amount of support and their constant source of inspiration for the players and coaches.
"I would love to play one more year," adds Herrera. "I felt great this season and I would love to come back."
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