Independence Fall 1-0 to Bethlehem Steel at Home
CHARLOTTE, NC - The Charlotte Independence on Friday night lost 1-0 to the visiting Bethlehem Steel FC at Ramblewood Stadium.
The Independence had a few opportunities early in the first half, including one from Joel Johnson, who carried the ball into the box but failed to finish. Things slowed up for the Independence after that. Following a series of corner kicks for the Steel in the 11th minute, Cory Burke managed to score a goal off a ball that was served over the Independence defense. The visitors had another prime goal scoring opportunity in the 30th minute from a strong header off a cross, but Independence goalkeeper John Berner made a diving stop, earning himself the Wells Fargo Save of the Game.
In the second half the Independence came out strong, creating plenty of scoring opportunities. "As a team we just try to regroup in the locker room," said Independence forward Zach Pfeffer. "We know what we can do as a team, we know our strengths, we know that we're a very good team, we have a lot of good players."
Pfeffer had a few shots in the opening minutes of the second half, but they were hit either wide or over the crossbar. The Independence increased the pressure and the game began to get a little rough with two yellow cards issued, one to Caleb Calvert of the Independence and the other to the Steel's Burke. The Independence remained persistent and came up with more corner opportunities, but in the end they were unable to put them in.
"We've killed ourselves two weeks in a row, just brain dead plays in the beginning of the games and we have to chase the game," said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. "We shouldn't put ourselves in that spot. You do that at home and it makes it difficult, you end up chasing the game, you end up having to play against a very compressed group. We were not good the first half - period. The second half we pushed the game really hard but we weren't able to get it done today."
The Independence (5-4-3) finishes up their three game homestand on June 18 against the Richmond Kickers (4-4-4). The Kickers are coming off a 1-1 draw to FC Cincinnati on June 4. Kickoff for the Independence and Kickers will be at 7:00pm at Ramblewood Stadium.
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