The Charlotte Independence defeated the Richmond Kickers Friday with a 3-2 win at the Ramblewood Stadium. The match started a bit slow for the Independence, and things did not look good when Richmond player Sunny Jane made the first goal in the 20th minute. The Independence was able to get back on their feet with a goal from forward Caleb Calvert, which evened out the first half to 1-1.
The second half saw a more energetic and determined Independence. Midfielder Enzo Martínez scored a goal during the 77th minute and was able to place the Independence at a 2-1 advantage over Richmond. Celebrations did not last long; Richmond player Matthew Delicâte’s goal tied the game to 2-2.
“It hits you hard,” said Martínez regarding the tie. “You are feeling great and all you think about is closing the game, but we believed that the boys were going to keep pushing and pushing until the last minute.”
The Independence kept up their determination and midfielder Jorge Herrera scored the game-winner with a penalty kick designated by referee David Erbacher, due to the foul drawn by Jun Marques Davidson in the penalty box.
“It is great, it is our second win in a row,” said Herrera regarding his thoughts about the three goals. “I am glad that we got those 3 points. It leaves us confident and believing in ourselves, and that is always important.”
The match saw six corner kicks from each team. There were 12 shots from Richmond, and 14 shots from the Independence. Independence goalkeeper Cody Mizell had one save, while Richmond had four total saves from Sawyer Gaffney and Ryan Taylor, who subbed in for Gaffney during the second half.
The second half was the most action-packed, with three goals and several moments of anticipation. The Independence was tried and succeeded to maintain their winning streak, while Richmond tried to obtain a victory after a loss at their previous match. The last match between the Independence and Richmond was in 2015, and terminated at half time due to weather, so both teams were able to finish what they started.
“I feel we were not as sharp as we should have been during the first half,” said head coach Mike Jeffries. “I think that in the second half we were a little bit better, and we were able to create more chances for sure. Overall, I think the guys did a good job.”
Charlotte Independence will play their next match against New York Red Bulls II. The team hopes to keep their winning streak.
“We are on a roll right now and we need to keep getting wins,” commented Martínez.
NYRB II will also put up a fight as they also hope to maintain their winning streak. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 pm ET on Sunday, May 1.