CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 21, 2023) — North Carolina FC fell on the road to the Charlotte Independence, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at American Legion Memorial Stadium. The visitors held a bulk of possession early and struck first, but could not hold off Charlotte in the second iteration of the 2023 Dogwood Derby.
North Carolina FC had several opportunities to take a first-half lead. In just the seventh minute, Oalex Anderson put a low screamer on frame from close range, but Austin Pack was able to kick his foot out just in time. Another brilliant opportunity came at the half-hour mark when Nelson Flores Blanco lofted an insert to the middle of the box that Garrett McLaughlin got a diving header directed on frame, but again Pack was in position to avert the danger. Jaden Servania and Chris Lue Young each had shots that just cleared the bar right before the end of the first half.
Anderson changed the tune early in the second half. Just two minutes into the second period, Mikey Maldonado came up with a takeaway at midfield, played McLaughlin through and he slid a pass left for Anderson, who tucked a roller inside the near post to notch his fourth goal of the season and open the scoring.
Charlotte answered right around the hour mark with a good build-up on which Nicholas Holliday made the initial stop, but the rebound caromed straight to Tresor Mbuyu to tap in to equalize. Charlotte provided a bulk of the pressure for the next quarter-hour, but NCFC was able to weather the storm until 20 minutes later, when Omar Ciss’ corner insert found the head of substitute Khori Bennett to give the home side the lead for good.
Quoting North Carolina FC
Head coach John Bradford on the match:
“I thought we played well for stretches of the game, but not the complete game that we needed to get a win on the road today. For the first 50 minutes we were in control, but never put the game away with a second goal.”
On the road support:
“I’d like to call out Oak City Supporters and several of our fans and club staff for making the trip today. It was fantastic to have their support here today.”
Gustavo Fernandes on the supporters traveling:
“It means so much to have so many of our supporters travel here for a such a big match. Unfortunately, we couldn’t reward them with the result we wanted, but having them here was incredible.”
- North Carolina FC snapped an eight-match unbeaten streak when scoring first
- Despite the result, North Carolina FC remains atop the USL League One table
- North Carolina have scored in 8 of their 10 games, no team has done so more often in the USL League One this season
Next Match: North Carolina FC will continue their month-long road stretch, visiting One Knoxville SC on Sunday, June 3, at 7:30 PM ET. The match will stream live on ESPN+.
NCFC (4-4-2): Nicholas Holliday, Nelson Blanco, Gustavo Fernandes, David Garcia, Christian Lue Young (DJ Benton – 86’), Luis Arriaga, Michael Maldonado ©, Garrett McLaughlin (Rafa Mentzingen – 67’), Jaden Servania (Shak Adams – 83’), Louis Perez (Raheem Somersall – 67’), Oalex Anderson (Preston Popp – 83’)
Subs Not Used: Tor Saunders, Pecka
CLT (4-4-2): Austin Pack, Fabrice Ngah, Shalom Dutey, Nick Spielman, Clay Dimick ©, Tresor Mbuyu (Luis Álvarez – 88’), Joel Johnson (Khori Bennett – 75’), Omar Ciss, Avionne Flanagan (Brad Dunwell – 46’), Miguel Ibarra (Gabriel Obertan – 75’), Dane Kelly (Héctor Acosta – 88’)
Subs Not Used: Noah Abrams, Luca Sowinski
NCFC: O. Anderson – 47’ (McLaughlin)
CLT: T. Mbuyu – 61’; K. Bennett – 80’ (Ciss)
NCFC: L. Perez – 57’; G. Fernandes – 90’; R. Mentzingen – 90+2’
CLT: J.Johnson – 36’; O. Ciss – 70’; C. Dimick – 75’; D. Kelly – 88’