Full Time

Full Time: Charlotte FC Refuses to Yield in 3-3 Thriller Against Seattle Sounders


First Half

Lineups: Kahlina, Lindsey, Malanda, Jones, Byrne, Bronico, Bender, Westwood, Vargas, Świderski, Meram

In the opening moments of the game, the Seattle Sounders were quick to create scoring opportunities, with the first notable chance arising just three minutes in. Raúl Ruidíaz unleashed a strike, aiming for an early goal, only to be thwarted by an alert Kristijan Kahlina. However, Seattle's persistent offensive display soon paid off. In the 11th minute, they were granted a free-kick that was expertly delivered to Cristian Roldan. Displaying impressive skill, Roldan controlled the ball and calmly slotted it past the charging Kahlina, finding the back of the net.

The lead proved to be short-lived as Charlotte FC quickly capitalized on their own set piece just six minutes later. The Crown earned a corner kick, which was cleared and recycled to Ashley Westwood. He played the ball to Karol Świderski, who made a remarkable effort to prevent it from going out of bounds and delivered a precise cross to an unmarked Jaylin Lindsey on the far post. Lindsey calmly ripped the ball into the net, marking his first goal for the club.

Following the flurry of action, the game settled into a consistent rhythm, with both teams finding their footing. However, this equilibrium was abruptly interrupted in the 35th minute by a moment of sheer brilliance from Ruidíaz. Displaying his individual prowess, he skillfully curled a magnificent shot from just outside the penalty box, reminiscent of the remarkable goal he scored against the Crown in the previous season.

Second Half

Lineups: Kahlina, Lindsey, Malanda, Jones, Byrne, Bronico, Bender (75'), Westwood, Vargas (69'), Świderski, Meram (74')

Substitutes: Cambridge (69'), Gaines (74'), Agyemang (75')

The second half started off slow but there was no stopping these two teams from a thrilling second half. 

In the 53rd minute, a counter attack began with Ashley Westwood, and it ended with Westwood providing a breathtaking finish to match Ruidíaz's earlier goal with his own moment of brilliance. Ben Bender received the ball with his back facing the goal inside the penalty box, deftly passing it to a poised Westwood. The captain expertly placed his shot towards the far post, finding the back of the net and securing the equalizing goal in spectacular fashion. Not long afterwards, Bender attempted his own shot at goal but it rattled off the post.

Following the goal, momentum swung in favor of Charlotte, but Ruidíaz wasn't finished showcasing why when healthy he's one of MLS's elite finishers. In the 70th minute, despite CLTFC's resolute defense against a string of crosses, the Seattle Sounders finally made their breakthrough. João Paulo executed a precise cross towards the far post onto a crashing Ruidíaz who made mistake when he met the ball to earn his brace.

However, Charlotte didn't yield and the equalizing goal would come from an unlikely hero – SuperDraft pick Patrick Agyemang. Desperation kicked in as the home side made attacking substitutes and pushed numbers forward to look for an equalizer. In 89th minute it came by way of a Nathan Byrne cross into a crowded Seattle penalty box which found a towering Agyemang who redirected the cross back into the net for his first career MLS goal. The Crown battled back and salvaged a point in the dying minutes.