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North Carolina FC Falls to the Charlotte Independence, 3-1

September 5, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - North Carolina FC News Release

Matthews, NC - A hat trick from Charlotte forward Dane Kelly led to North Carolina FC's defeat against the Charlotte Independence at Matthews Sportsplex on Saturday night by a score of 3-1. Dre Fortune recorded the goal for NCFC, his fourth of the 2020 season.

Seven minutes into the match, North Carolina FC and the Charlotte Independence gathered around the center circle, pausing for a moment of silence to fight for equality, diversity, and inclusivity in the ongoing movement around social injustice.

The Charlotte Independence struck first when defender Joel Johnson played a cross into the NCFC box to the feet of Kelly, who scored to put the Independence up 1-0. Later, in the 20th minute, Kelly notched his second goal of the night to give Charlotte a two-goal advantage.

NCFC entered the second half looking to edge into Charlotte's lead. A yellow card administered to Charlotte forward Enzo Martinez in the 51st minute resulted in a set piece for NCFC, giving the team a chance to score early into the second half. The kick was taken by Graham Smith, who placed a nearly perfect ball just outside the six. Several NCFC players fought to get a touch, but the ball was punched out by Charlotte goalkeeper Brandon Miller.

Later, in the 59th minute, NCFC captain Nazmi Albadawi played a driven ball up the right side of the field to Robert Kristo, who was sprinting towards the net. Kristo took the ball in stride, dribbling into the eighteen and getting off a shot attempt, only to be met with another save from Miller.

In the 79th minute, Charlotte midfielder Derek Gebhard played a through ball to Kelly, who scored to record the hat trick and extend Charlotte's lead to 3-0.

NCFC was able to find a goal in stoppage time when Manny Perez slotted a cross towards the penalty spot. Dre Fortune ran onto the pass, scoring to notch his fourth goal of the 2020 season and rendering the score 3-1.

Looking Ahead: North Carolina FC will return to WakeMed Soccer Park to face Memphis 901 FC on Thursday, September 10th at 7 p.m. ET.

Notes:

- Malik Embaye made his NCFC debut in the match.

- NCFC's passing accuracy was 88.1%.

- North Carolina FC Youth products DJ Taylor, Dre Fortune and Conor Donovan started the match. Manny Perez came into the game as a substitution.

- Dre Fortune scored his 4th goal of the 2020 season.

Box Score:

CLT (4-5-1): Brandon Miller; Hugh Roberts, Clay Dimick, Joel Johnson, Duke Lacroix; Luke Haakenson (Oscar Ramsay, 90'), Brunallergene Etou, Rey Ortiz (Derek Gebhard, 69'), Jake Areman (Tresor Mbuyu, 90'), Enzo Martinez ©; Dane Kelly (Christian Chaney, 90')

Subs Not Used: Guido Vadala, Austin Pack, Shalom Dutey

NC (4-5-1): Alex Tambakis; Alex Comsia (Manny Perez, 71'), Conor Donovan, Sam Brotherton, DJ Taylor (Malick Mbaye, 84'); Hadji Barry (Steven Miller, 77'), Nazmi Albadawi © , Graham Smith (Pecka, 84'), Dre Fortune, Ben Speas (Marios Lomis, 77'); Robert Kristo

Subs Not Used: Paolo Pita, Daniele Proch

Score:

CLT: 3

NC: 1

Goals:

CLT: Dane Kelly (Joel Johnson, 10'), Dane Kelly (Luke Haakenson, 20'), Dane Kelly (Derek Gebhard, 79')

NC: Dre Fortune (Manny Perez, 90')

Cautions:

CLT: Duke Lacroix (18'), Dane Kelly (43'), Enzo Martinez (51')

NC: Graham Smith (35'), DJ Taylor (60')

Ejections:

CLT: --

NC: --


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