Full Time

Full Time: Charlotte FC Draw D.C. United in Scoreless Match at Bank of America Stadium


Despite dominating possession throughout the match, Charlotte FC couldn’t find the breakthrough on the night. After CLTFC created a flurry of chances and had a penalty denied via VAR in the first half, they were unable to convert on their momentum in the second.

First Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Uronen, Westwood, Bronico, Swiderski, Bender, Copetti, Dejaegere

In front of a raucous environment of 36,101 people at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte FC got off to a storming start. Just four minutes in, there was a crazy goalmouth scramble inside the six-yard box. Multiple CLTFC players got swings at the ball amidst a tangle of legs before Ben Bender fired wide into the side netting, fooling parts of the crowd into thinking he found the opener.

Four minutes later, the crowd once again thought the opener was coming through a VAR review penalty. Karol Swiderski had cut a cross back for Brandt Bronico, whose shot deflected off D.C. defender Donovan Pines’ foot and then hand. It wrong-footed Alex Bono, but the keeper managed to get a hand to it and tip it off the post. After a quick review, referee Jon Freemon elected not to point to the spot – much to the chagrin of the crowd and Swiderski, who was preparing to take the potential penalty.

Despite a high-energy match, it took until the 24th minute for the next clear chance. Enzo Copetti latched onto a ball in behind and battled through contact from Pines, but ultimately couldn’t get his shot off under duress. Soon after, Bronico was gifted the best chance of the first half after a Bender shot took a heavy deflection and landed straight to his feet with just the keeper to beat. Unfortunately, the midfielder couldn’t get the ball out from underneath his feet and had it tackled away.

Bronico was central to a good chance again in the 45th minute, this time creating it. In the wide right area, he shaped to cross but instead found Copetti with a pass on the ground inside the box. Copetti cut it back for Dejaegere, but the shot was well blocked by a D.C. defender. Just before halftime, Dejaegere headed a Nathan Byrne cross back to Copetti, but Pines cleared it away before the Argentine could head it home.

Overall, Charlotte FC dominated the first half run of play and were unlucky to go into the break tied after allowing just a few half-chances to D.C.

Second Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Uronen, Westwood, Bronico (65’), Swiderski (86’), Bender (78’), Copetti (78’), Dejaegere (65’)

Substitutions: Meram (65’), Arfield (65’), Agyemang (78’), Jozwiak (78’), Vargas (86’)

The second half started much slower than the first. Charlotte FC had the lion’s share of possession and got themselves into promising positions but couldn’t break their opponent down over the opening 20 minutes. D.C., meanwhile, continued to play off Christian Benteke as their target man with runs off of him.

Head Coach Christian Lattanzio and his staff reacted with two substitutes at the 65th minute: Justin Meram for Dejaegere and Scott Arfield for Bronico. Kristijan Kahlina had to make a brave save on Benteke right after, bravely standing strong and taking the left-footed shot off his head. Meram then nearly scored with his first touch of the game, but his header from Bender’s cross went just over the crossbar.

D.C. Head Coach Wayne Rooney followed with two subs eight minutes after the Crown’s changes, as Nigel Robertha and Ted Ku-DePietro entered the match. Still, the rhythm of the match remained a series of Charlotte FC possession, D.C. United counter attacks, and half chances both ways. Lattanzio went with two more changes in the 78th minute, bringing on Patrick Agyemang for Copetti and Kamil Jozwiak for Bender.

Benteke found a decent chance on the back post late in the half, but his header went straight at Kahlina. Kerwin Vargas entered for Swiderski with a few minutes remaining, but he wasn’t able to make the difference.

Ultimately, Charlotte FC couldn’t capitalize on a very strong first half, failing to create the amount of quality chances they would have liked when attacking towards the Supporter’s Section in the second half. The result left both sides with a point and at a stalemate in the ongoing race for the final playoff spots.