Full Time

Full Time: Charlotte FC Earn Three Points in Tight Contest Against the Columbus Crew


Charlotte FC earned their first win at home over a Columbus Crew side that has started the season off strong. As expected, it was a battle all 90 minutes but one that the Crown were more than up for.

First Half

Lineup: Marks, Byrne, Malanda, Tuiloma, Malanda, Afful, Jóźwiak, Jones, Bronico, Vargas, Świderski, Copetti

An early foul on Enzo Copetti gave Charlotte a shot on goal just a minute into the match. A set piece from Kerwin Vargas was perfectly whipped in and arrived to a crashing Bill Tuiloma who could only managed to head it right at Columbus's keeper. In the 20th minute, George Marks found himself in no man's land when a cross from a wide open Lucas Zelarayán found its way past the defense, but George scrambled back into position just in time to put a body between him and the goal for fortuitous save.

Poles Karol Świderski and Kamil Jóźwiak linking up for goals is starting becoming a trend as they linked up for the third time this season to give Charlotte the lead at home. Defender Bill Tuiloma caught the Crew's defense with a long pass down the right flank that Jóźwiak reached and found Świderski in the box who finished upper 90 with his weaker right foot.

Second Half

Lineup: Marks, Byrne, Malanda, Tuiloma, Malanda, Afful, Jóźwiak (87'), Jones, Bronico, Vargas (69'), Świderski (77'), Copetti

Substitutes: Gaines (69'), Bender (77'), Lindsey (87')

Charlotte found a lot of joy in the second half playing long balls in behind Columbus who were even more aggressive in their positioning than usual. Enzo Copetti was the beneficiary of these passes finding himself in one on one scenarios with the last defender. The Crew managed to extinguish counter after counter that the Crown threw at them. On two occasions, in the 64th and 74th, Charlotte came painfully close to doubling their lead on transitions.

In the 83rd minute, Ben Bender had the best of these opportunities when yet another ball over the top reached Copetti who held it up and played the Bender through who managed to create two shots – the first blocked and the second saved. In the 89th minute, it looked like Charlotte FC would pay for those missed opportunities when Columbus's Aidan Morris equalized but to Charlotte's relief it was overturned by VAR for offside. Charlotte managed to hold on to the lead and deservedly earned their first clean sheet and home win of the season.

Charlotte FC will start their U.S. Open Cup journey on Tuesday before hitting the road next weekend to face D.C. United in their next regular season match.