The Charlotte Independence lost a very important game to the second place Charleston Battery Saturday night at the Matthews Sportsplex in front of a good size crowd.
The Jacks applied pressure all night on their opponent. Approximately two-thirds of the game was played in the Charleston zone as the home team had clearly won the possession and statistics game. However, scoring and winning is what truly counts, especially at the professional level and the Independence crew just could not get the job done.
The Independence took 17 shots, 5 shots on target and created 13 chances for scoring opportunities during the match. While Charleston took a total of 6 shots, 1 on target and created only 5 chances for scoring opportunities. The difference in the game is the one Battery shot on goal beat goalkeeper Cody Mizell in the top corner of the left post was poked in by Ataulla Guerra for the games only score from an assist by teammate Kotaro Higashi. This gave the visitors a 1-0 led 35:00 minutes into the contest.
The Independence forwards and midfielders Jorge Herrera, Enzo Martinez and Lewis Hilton took a combined 12 shots with 5 on target and could not get them by Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper who had an outstanding night in the net. He absolutely made 4 tremendous saves and played flawless for the Battery.
With this tough loss the Independence will finish in firth place in the Eastern Conference and are no longer in contention to play a home playoff game at the Sportsplex. They will have to compete on the road. Their first round playoff opponent will be the Rochester Rhinos on October 26th at 6:05 pm eastern time.
During this five game losing streak the team has not scored in four of the games. The Jacks are actually still playing solid soccer with crisp passing, good defense, solid goalkeeping and generating scoring opportunities. In fact outplaying their opponent in many of the games by winning time of possession and ball control. Unfortunately, during this stretch they cannot put the ball in the net.
Maybe, their luck will change during the playoffs and the team will find a way to get back to scoring goals consistently and make a serious run. Coach Mike Jeffries will certainly have his team ready to play and compete.