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The Full Time Clip: Charlotte FC Keep Fourth Consecutive Shutout in Scoreless Home Draw Against the LA Galaxy

May 18, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Charlotte FC News Release

CLTFC are unbeaten in four matches behind Club-record shutout streak

First Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Pedro, Westwood, Diani, Bronico, Vargas, Dejaegere, Agyemang

Charlotte FC came into Saturday's match - the third in eight days - riding a three-game winning and shutout streak. Despite threats of severe weather throughout the day, the storms held off and produced a lovely night of weather.

In the early stages of the first half, both teams traded periods of extended possession and some dangerous moments.

For their part, the LA Galaxy earned a free kick in a promising area outside the box in the 9th minute but hit their shot against CLTFC's five-man wall. They also had Charlotte fans holding their breath a few minutes later, as Gabriel Pec broke contain down the right side behind Joao Pedro. Pec's early cross into the box went through Dejan Joveljic and landed at Diego Fagundez's feet. However, both Adilson Malanda and Nathan Byrne made impressive recovery runs to get blocks in and enable Kristijan Kahlina to tip a save over the bar.

Going the other way, Charlotte FC had some opportunities of their own in this early phase of the half. The biggest was a double chance in the 10th minute. First, Joao Pedro slotted Kerwin Vargas in behind with an inch-perfect pass, but Vargas's cross was too high even for the 6'5" Patrick Agyemang. Right away, CLTFC kept the ball in bounds and recycled it to Ashley Westwood, who played a clever pass into Brandt Bronico. Bronico, though, couldn't keep his balance when he cut the ball back onto his left foot, and the chance was gone.

In the 31st minute, Agyemang went on a trademark run from the halfway line, sprinting past one Galaxy defender and shouldering another to the ground before playing a one-two with Djibril Diani.

Two stepovers later, he fired the ball across the goalmouth, but Bronico couldn't quite reach it as he was blocked by a defender.

It was Agyemang again in the 39th minute. This time, he rose high inside the box to meet an early Westwood cross. It seemed he was too far out to trouble Novak Micovic in LA's goal, but his header nearly found the upper 90 and had Micovic concerned before it drifted just wide.

Kerwin Vargas also had a strike from distance in the 45th minute after a good Charlotte build-up, but it lasered over the bar a few feet too high.

The Galaxy had a few chances throughout this period, too, and Kahlina was called into action for a few relatively straightforward saves. Pec in particular was dangerous in the right channel behind Joao Pedro and had a curling left-footed shot saved by Kahlina right before the halftime whistle.

Second Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Pedro, Westwood, Diani (65'), Bronico, Vargas (87'), Dejaegere (65'), Agyemang (79')

Substitutions: Pekovic (65'), Smalls (65'), Arfield (79'), Tavares (87')

Both teams started the second half unchanged, and the Galaxy created the first big chance in the 50th minute. Pec got in behind and squared the ball across the six-yard box at the near post for Joveljic, and Malanda was a yard or two behind him. Somehow, though, he closed the gap to make an impressive last-ditch block on Joveljic's shot.

On the other end two minutes later, Bronico flashed with three huge chances inside a two-minute span. The first was a header on a cross from the eft side that he couldn't quite keep on frame. For the second, he received the ball inside the box from Dejaegere and spun, skimming his left-footed shot inches wide of the post. The third chance settled at his feet inside the box from a deflected Privett shot. He shifted it onto his left foot again, and this time his curling effort sailed just too high.

The game was shocked to life by these rapid-fire chances and really began to open up. Riqui Puig dinked the ball into the box in the 56th minute looking for Joveljic, but Kahlina charged bravely off his line to claim the ball first.

Despite that chance, CLTFC was seizing the momentum at this stage. Micovic had a heart attack moment, letting a back pass roll under his foot and nearly into his own goal. In the scramble, the Galaxy knocked the ball out for a corner, and the Charlotte fans roared their approval.

In the 62nd, the LA Galaxy had a good combo between Puig, Pec, and Joveljic that the Serbian striker blazed over, but the offside flag went up and would have negated any goal. The real chance, though, came from a Dejaegere turnover and lightning quick Galaxy counterattack led by Puig. The Spanish midfielder timed his pass to Pec perfectly, but his shot went barely wide to let CLTFC off the hook.

Head Coach Dean Smith made his first changes in the 65th minute, swapping Tyger Smalls for Dejaegere and Nikola Petkovic for Diani.

Smalls made an immediate impact, creating a chance that was equally as big as Pec's a few minutes earlier. Galaxy defender John Nelson misplayed a long ball, and Smalls pounced on the mistake with speed and burst into the box completely free. However, his left-footed shot flashed just wide of the near post (which was becoming the theme of the day on both ends).

Smith made another change in the 79th minute, bringing on Scott Arfield for Agyemang up top. Tavares was the final change in the 87th minute, entering in place of Kerwin Vargas.

Throughout the final phase of the game, both teams had their opportunities as half chances poured in. However, neither team could find the final pass or shot to break through the other team's defensive lines.

It wasn't until the final minute of the match where the Galaxy found a breakthrough, challenging Kahlina twice, but both times the Croation came up with critical saves.

Charlotte remains unbeaten in their last four matches, having earned 10 out of a possible 12 points in May. Next Saturday, they have one final opportunity to secure three points at home in May when they host the Philadelphia Union.

May 25 | Military Appreciation Night | Philadelphia Union

Charlotte FC will proudly honor veteran and active military members during a pre-match party from 4 PM - 6 PM and throughout the match on Saturday May 25. Get ready for an unforgettable matchday!

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