Charlotte FC found an equalizer late on through a Copetti to Swiderski combo to seemingly rescue a point – and potentially push for two more. However, the Revolution found a winning goal soon after to take the match 2-1.
Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Uronen, Westwood, Bronico, Dejaegere, Gaines, Meram, Swiderski
The match in Foxborough started quite slowly, as both teams probed and figured out each other’s tactics. It was an interestingly mirrored battle in that department, as New England Revolution Interim Head Coach Clint Peay had central midfielder Matt Polster playing left back and pinching inside as an extra midfielder. On the other side, Charlotte FC Head Coach had Andrew Privett in his usual hybrid center back role pushing into midfield in possession.
The first 44 minutes of the match had nothing in particular to write home about. Kristijan Kahlina made a few routine saves, CLTFC had a few half chances, and Nacho Gil and Ashley Westwood traded yellow cards for somewhat cynical tackles.
Then, as the first half approached stoppage time, the teams created more action and high quality chances than they had the previous 44 minutes combined.
First, Thomas Chancalay, who had been bright for New England throughout the half, whipped in a great cross. Bobby Wood drifted off Privett’s shoulder and had an open look at goal on the back post, but couldn’t make clean contact on the header.
Straight away on the other end, Charlotte FC executed a good buildup to release McKinze Gaines on the right side. His cutback cross found Karol Swiderski, but the Pole’s well-struck right-footed volley clanged off the crossbar. CLTFC immediately recycled the rebound, with Brecht Dejaegere dummying a pass into Swiderski. Gaines found himself in space again and clipped a cross to the back post, where Bronico’s looping header was cleared off the far post by Andrew Farrell.
With that sudden burst of excitement, the match went to halftime knotted at zeroes.
Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Uronen (76’), Westwood, Bronico (76’), Dejaegere (65’), Gaines (65’), Meram (76’), Swiderski
Substitutions: Arfield (65’), Jozwiak (65’), Vargas (76’), Copetti (76’), Jones (76’)
The second half opened up with a good CLTFC chance in the 48th minute, as Jere Uronen delivered a good corner to the top of the six-yard box to meet Adilson Malanda’s head. Unfortunately, the Frenchman couldn’t keep the header down and it fired just over the bar. A few minutes later, Gaines crossed well for Swiderski, but he similarly couldn’t direct his header on target.
Despite good possession dominance for Charlotte, the Revolution grabbed the opening goal in the 64th minute. Mark-Anthony Kaye found Noel Buck inside the box, and the teenager finished with power and precision to the far post, leaving Kahlina no chance to make the save.
Kamil Jozwiak and Scott Arfield – two substitutes that were being prepped before the opening goal was scored – immediately entered the game for Gaines and Dejaegere.
CLTFC were under lots of pressure for a 10-minute period but kept the deficit at one. Just before another raft of subs entered, Arfield found a good chance inside the box, battling through a sea of legs to get a shot away, but Earl Edwards Jr. saved in the end.
Those changes from Lattanzio – Enzo Copetti, Derrick Jones, and Kerwin Vargas – shifted the team into a 3-5-2 shape. Nathan Byrne, Malanda, and Privett formed a back three and Copetti joined Swiderski as a strike partnership.
Copetti nearly delivered the equalizer with a head chance in the 81st minute, but then did successfully deliver the assist on the equalizer to Swiderski. He nodded a long ball back to his Polish teammate, who calmly finished into the bottom corner from the top of the eighteen.
Unfortunately, New England hit back just a minute later to go back ahead. Dejuan Jones crossed to Dave Romney, who was unmarked on the back post. The American center back powered his header past Kahlina to put the Revolution up 2-1.
After the goal, Charlotte FC were unable to conjure a last-minute chance, sending The Crown to their second straight loss. Despite this, though, the team is still in the race for the playoff spots with games in hand on their opponents.