HOUSTON – Charlotte FC made history in Houston by earning their first win away from home. They made it more difficult on themselves than it needed to be but at the end of the night they came away with a crucial three points to stay in the playoff hunt.
Charlotte started with urgency, creating some threatening chances within the opening minutes of the match. But that early fire fizzled out as the Dynamo were able to pick up momentum through some dangerous counterattacks.
But in the 27th minute, off a good spell of possession from CLTFC, Yordy Reyna whips in a ball that Karol Świderski heads into the woodwork. Just one minute later, almost like deju vu, Reyna crosses it from the same position but this time it reaches Kamil Jóźwiak, who looked to pass it to Swiderski but instead gets put in the back of their own net by Houston.
Almost immediately after the goal, Świderski brilliantly finds Jóźwiak on the far post for a glorious chance that he puts wide. Despite being ahead going into the half, CLTFC would have felt they could have been up by more.
The second half was more of Charlotte doing what Houston does to other teams – look to break quickly after winning the ball to beat the opponent in transition. They were able to get narrowly close to scoring but it wasn’t until the 74th minute where Shinyashiki redeemed himself after a miss to double Charlotte’s lead.
It looked like smooth sailing ahead for the Crown, but in the 81st minute, Fafa Picault scored for the Dynamo, giving them new life. Houston threw everything they had forward but CLTFC remained resilient and held on to their lead until the end.
Quality Scoring Chances
The knock on CLTFC all year has been the lack of creating quality scoring chances. It’s been a struggle for the team to threaten opponents but that wasn’t the case against the Dynamo.
CLTFC were quicker in recognizing attacking opportunities, more precise in their passing, and because of it they were able to create four to five quality scoring opportunities. Charlotte won 2 – 1 but if they were more clinical it could have been by many more.
The Crown continue to show growth and improvement in areas they’ve struggled in. It’s a testament to the work being done in training, but combining quality scoring chances with clinical finishing is the next progression for the team.
First Away Win... Finally
Over halfway into the season, Charlotte still remained winless away from home. It had been looming over their heads all season long, and they had come frustratingly close at times. Finally, the Crown gets that monkey off their back in what is a critical stage of the season. It's a weight off the team's shoulders and will serve as a confidence booster for the rest of the season.