The USL professional soccer team mounted a come from behind tie against Atlanta United II on Saturday night at the Sportsplex in Matthews. This game was supposed to be a test for the home team who won their first two games rather handily. As it turned out, the game was everything the experts thought would occur and then some. The Independence were up for the challenge and picked up a valuable point.
The teams were evenly matched in the first half. The Independence had some good opportunities to score in the first 30 minutes of play, however, they were not able to capitalize. While on a breakaway Atlanta cashed in scoring a quick goal inside the right corner post beating goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra for a 1-0 lead 28:00 minutes into the match.
The Independence responded well by applying pressure on the Atlanta defense creating a few good opportunities. Then suddenly at 37:00 minutes Jorge Herrera the ageless wonder scored his first goal of the night and third of the season. This was Herrera’s third consecutive game with a goal inside the box. The first half ended in a 1-1 tie and the teams statistically were even in all major categories.
The second half was just as tight as the teams sparred back and forth up and down the field. The two teams continued to jockey for position and time of possession to control the tempo of the game. However, there were no serious scoring threats until 78:00 minutes when Christopher Goslin took a shot on goal and a nice save was made by Dykstra. Then suddenly on what looked like a defensive breakdown by the Jacks, Kunga Lagos punched in a goal on a nifty pass in front of the net to make the score 2-1 Atlanta at 82:00 minutes.
At 86:00 minutes Jorge Herrera on what looked like a rebound punched in his second goal of the game for the Jacks and his fourth of the young season. Herrera always seems to be positioned at the right place at the right time. The game was tied at 2-2 and turned out to be the final score. A nice comeback by the Independence twice during the match.
After the game the coach mentioned, “To have to come back twice, I give our group credit but, it was a tough spot to be in,” said Coach Jeffries. “We have always been able to play out in front in our other two games, so this was really our first test in having to bounce back from being down a goal, we managed to today and that’s a credit to the guys on the field.”
The Independence on the season opening three game home stand earned 7 points. They will travel next Saturday to take on Nashville before returning home on April 14th.