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Full Time: Charlotte FC's Four-Match Road Stretch Ends With 4-2 Loss to Columbus Crew


First Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Tuiloma, Sobociński, Afful, Vargas, Świderski, Meram, Agyemang

Individual mistakes came back to haunt the Crown once again to start the match. In the 5th minute, Bill Tuiloma played a ball across the pitch to his fellow center back Jan Sobociński, but the pass was intercepted by Christian Ramirez who found himself one-on-one against goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina and slotted it past the Croatian. MLS SuperDraft Patrick Agyemang, who made his first start for Charlotte FC, looked to answer quickly with his first action in the 16th minute, but he just missed the target from a narrow angle.

The Crew doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Max Arfsten received a switch in the right wide channel, then faced up Harrison Afful, cutting onto his left foot creating enough separation and curled a shot in the bottom left corner. Shortly afterwards, Charlotte thought they closed the lead to one but a VAR review deemed Justin Meram offside wiping away the visitor's goal.

That didn't dampen Meram's efforts because not long afterwards he created a moment of magic in the 33rd minute in hopes of sparking the offense. Meram nutmegged his defender inside the Crew's penalty box, opening up space to play Harrison Afful who drove a shot to the far post but excellent goalkeeping from Patrick Schulte denied the Ghanaian. The rebound, however, fell to Karol Świderski who would have scored if it weren't for an incredible sliding save from a Crew defender.

As Charlotte started to put together a positive spell, the Crew scored their 3rd goal of the night through brilliant individual play from maestro Lucas Zelarayán and forward Cucho Hernandez. A perfectly weighted chip from Zelarayán set up Hernandez for an acrobatic finish to cap off a near perfect half from the Crew.

Second Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne (82'), Tuiloma, Sobociński (63'), Afful, Vargas (82'), Świderski, Meram (72'), Agyemang (45'), Gaines (70')

Substitutes: Bender (45'), Jones (63'), Gaines (70'), Lindsey (82'), Cambridge (82)

The first 10 minutes of the second half didn't see much action but the next ten were chaotic to say the least.

It started with a classy goal from Karol Świderski who controlled a lobbed through ball over the top from Ashely Westwood and showed composure with the finish to open up Charlotte's scoring account in the 56th minute. The goal was followed by a mistake in the back, this time by Columbus, which was cleaned up and scored by a lurking Justin Meram to put the Crown just a goal behind the Crew in a matter of two minutes.

However, instead of Columbus panicking, they were just as swift in their response when Christian Ramirez found himself open at the top of the box with a late arriving run in transition and beat Kahlina for the second time in the match – a crushing blow to Charlotte's potential comeback. Substitutes Brandon Cambridge and Ben Bender had chances to score consolation goals but came just short.

Up next, Charlotte return home after a four-match stretch on the road to face the Seattle Sounders.