Charlotte FC cruised past Toronto FC behind a Swiderski first half brace for a critical three points in the playoff race
CHARLOTTE, NC (Thursday, October 5, 2023) – Charlotte FC forward Karol Swiderski earned a spot on the MLS Team of the Matchday after his first half brace from the penalty spot and second half assist led the team to a 3-0 victory over Toronto FC at Bank of America Stadium.
The victory means the team remained in control of their own playoff destiny. Three more wins, starting with Chicago Fire FC this Saturday and concluding with Inter Miami CF twice on the final week of the season, would guarantee CLTFC the #8 seed and hosting rights for the first round playoff game between the #8 and #9 seeds.
At home needing a victory over last-place Toronto, Charlotte FC got off to a storming start. Kamil Jozwiak beat Toronto keeper Luka Gavran to a loose ball early on and earned a penalty after a short VAR review. Karol Swiderski sent Gavran the wrong way on the ensuing penalty kick to get out to an early lead in just the 8th minute.
After seemingly endless pressure throughout the first half, CLTFC earned a second penalty through Ashley Westwood. Swiderski coolly went the same way on his second penalty kick of the half, once again sending Gavran the wrong way to double the advantage.
In the second half, Swiderski set up a potential Goal of the Year with an outside of the foot pass to Brecht Dejaegere. The Belgian was facing the wrong way, but he managed to backheel the ball out of the air and into the net off the underside of the crossbar for a wonderful scorpion kick goal.
Swiderski was central to The Crown’s excellent attacking play on the night alongside fellow Designated Players Enzo Copetti and Kamil Jozwiak, creating chance after chance on the Toronto goal in a dominant display.
The result puts Charlotte FC on 36 points, just two points outside of the playoff places with a crucial game in hand. This Saturday, October 7th, CLTFC travels to Chicago for a pivotal “six-pointer” with a chance to significantly close the gap against a direct rival in the standings.
For the full MLS Team of the Matchday, please see below:
F: Karol Swiderski (CLT), Dénis Bouanga (LAFC), Ryan Gauld (VAN)
M: Cristian Roldan (SEA), Dániel Gazdag (PHI), Xherdan Shaqiri (CHI), Frankie Amaya (RBNY)
D: Malte Amundsen (CLB), Robin Jansson (ORL), Richie Laryea (VAN)
GK: Brad Stuver (ATX)
Coach: Frank Klopas (CHI)
Bench: Andre Blake (PHI), Lassi Lappalainen (MTL), Gastón Giménez (CHI), João Paulo (SEA), Sebastián Driussi (ATX), Maren Haile-Selassie (CHI), Diego Rossi (CLB), Tomás Chancalay (NE), Duncan McGuire (ORL)
CLT V MIA | DECISION DAY
It's Fan Appreciation and Decision Day. The upper bowl will be OPEN for the last regular season match. Gate Giveaway: First fans in attendance will receive a limited-edition CLTFC T-Shirt, courtesy of Ally.