With Hat Trick, Dane Kelly Shoulders Responsibility as Charlotte Independence Rolls Past North Carolina FC in 3-1 Win
CHARLOTTE - In the eighth meeting of Charlotte Independence-North Carolina FC in USL Championship play, the Independence claimed its fourth win of the season with a 3-1 triumph over North Carolina FC as forward Dane Kelly recorded a hat trick at the Sportsplex at Matthews.
The Independence surged into a two-goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes at the Sportsplex at Matthews, courtesy of two clinical finishes by Kelly.
In the second half, Kelly completed his hat trick in the 79th minute and sealed a second all-time victory over North Carolina FC for the Jacks.
"I think we put in a great performance tonight," said Kelly. "To get six points in five days and to beat a rival is very, very good. A huge three points tonight."
In the day's other Group G match, Birmingham Legion FC and Memphis 901 FC tied 1-1 in Memphis. Legion FC (6-2-4; 22 points) currently tops Group G, but with the win tonight the Independence moves within four points (5-3-3; 18 points), followed by North Carolina FC (3-5-1; 10 points) and Memphis 901 FC (1-5-4; 7 points).
The Jacks face the Group G leaders on Saturday, Sept. 12 at BBVA Field in Birmingham, Ala. (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+).
Independence head coach Mike Jeffries made one change from the starting lineup against Memphis 901 FC on Sept. 12, as defender Clay Dimick replaced Aaron Maund at centre-back.
In another energetic start, the Jacks came out flying all over the field and was rewarded in the 10th minute when Joel Johnson pickpocketed Andre Fortune and unselfishly squared for Kelly, who finished unerringly inside the penalty area for the opening goal of the match.
Kelly would have his second goal of the evening - and sixth of the campaign - soon after, though, as Kelly doubled the Jacks' lead in the 20th minute by finishing a cleverly weighted through ball by Luke Haakenson with a well-placed left-footed shot off the post and into the net. The goal marked Kelly's sixth tally of the season and Johnson's third assist.
The Jacks continued to show well on the other side of the break and would finally get the necessary third goal in the 79th minute. Substitute Derek Gebhard found Kelly inside the penalty area where Kelly volleyed home his 85th career USL goal, clinching three points for the Jacks.
But it was North Carolina FC who scored next and capped the scoring on the evening, via Andre Fortune's right-footed effort from Manny Perez's cross on the stroke of full-time.
"I was thrilled with the amount of energy we came out with to start the game," said Jeffries. "It was great to get early goals and manage the game from there."
"It was an important win for us, standings wise and rivalry wise," added Jeffries. "It was great to end this stretch of the season with a couple of wins âand carry some momentum into the next game."
Next on the Schedule: The Independence will travel to BBVA Field to take on Birmingham Legion FC on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN+.
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GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
CLT - Dane Kelly (Joel Johnson),10th minute: Out on the right wing, Joel Johnson pickpocketed Andre Fortune and drove towards the end line. The defender then unselfishly squared a cross into the box for Kelly, who finished unerringly inside the penalty area for the opening goal of the match. CLT 1, NCFC 0
CLT - Dane Kelly (Luke Haakenson), 20th minute: From his own half, Duke Lacroix found Luke Haakenson who placed a cleverly weighted through ball to an overlapping Dane Kelly. Kelly took a couple of touches into the box and fired a well-placed left-footed shot off the post and into the net for his second goal of the match. CLT 2, NCFC 0
CLT - Dane Kelly (Derek Gebhard), 79th minute: On the right wing, Derek Gebhard stole a North Carolina FC pass just inside midfield and dribbled into the box where he fired a pass to Dane Kelly on the penalty spot who powered a shot beyond the reach of 'keeper Alex Tambakis and completed his hat trick. CLT 3, NCFC 0
NCFC - Andre Fortune (Manny Perez), 90+1 minute: A poor clearance by Independence defender fell perfectly for Robert Kristo who played a through ball into the corner to Manny Perez. Perez received the pass from Kristo and sent a square ball into the penalty area to Andre Fortune who sent a one-timed shot into the left side of the net and capped the scoring on the evening. CLT 3, NC 1 FINAL
Match: Charlotte Independence vs. North Carolina FC
Date: September 5, 2020
Venue: Sportsplex at Matthews
Competition: USL Championship
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CLT 2 1 3
NCFC 0 1 1
CLT: Dane Kelly (Joel Johnson), 10th minute
CLT: Dane Kelly (Luke Haakenson), 20th minute
CLT: Dane Kelly (Derek Gebhard), 78th minute
NCFC: Andre Fortune (Manny Perez), 90+1 minute
CLT: 33-Brandon Miller; 3-Hugh Roberts, 14-Duke Lacroix, 17-Clay Dimick, 22-Joel Johnson, 4-Jake Areman(32-Tresor Mbuyu, 90'), 7-Rey Ortiz(27-Derek Gebhard, 69'), 15-Luke Haakenson(20-Oscar Ramsey, 90'), 21-Junior Etou, 9-Dane Kelly(90-Christian Chaney, 90'), 19-Enzo Martinez(captain)
Subs Not Used: 1-Austin Pack,2-Shalom Dutey, 23-Guido Vadala
Head Coach: Mike Jeffries
NC: 1-Alex Tambakis; 4-Alex Comsia (2-Manny Perez, 71'), 5-Sam Brotherton, 20-Conor Donovan, 27-D.J. Taylor(15-Mbaye Malik, 83'), 8-Andre Fortune, 10-Nazmi Albadawi(captain), 16-Graham Smith(7-Wellington Paeckart, 83'), 17-Ben Speas(9-Marios Lomis, 77'), 92-Hadji Barry(31-Steven Miller, 77') 11-Robbie Kristo
Subs Not Used: 24-Paolo Pita
Head Coach: Dave Sarachan
Stats Summary CLT/ NCFC:
Shots: 9 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 8 / 6
Offside: 3 / 1
CLT: (caution)Yellow card: 14-Duke Lacroix
NCFC: (caution)Yellow card: 16- Graham Smith
CLT: (caution)Yellow card: 9-Dane Kelly, 43rd minute
CLT: (caution)Yellow card: 19-Enzo Martinez, 51st minute
Referees: JJ Bilinski
AR: Dallas Rosier, Colin Ashley
Fourth Official: Joshua Escobar
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