CHARLOTTE – It was a hard 1 – 0 win for Charlotte FC in their revenge against Atlanta United. Nothing came easy as both sides battled for every inch they got.
It’s become a trend that Charlotte FC either scores or concedes within the opening minutes of halves and the first half against Atlanta was no different. Atlanta started the match with most of the possession, but the momentum quickly shifted in favor of Charlotte.
CLTFC started to press higher up and it immediately paid dividends as they were able to win three consecutive corners. As the saying goes, third time’s a charm... Whether intentional or not, Jordy Alcívar scores directly off the third corner hit giving the Crown the lead in the 11th minute.
Momentum then shifted back to Atlanta United who had their fair share of good scoring opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. The second half was a lot less open affair.
There weren’t many chances for either side, but Charlotte FC did have the better of them. The best one came from Alcívar in the 55th minute who had a clear chance off a cross that was blocked by an Atlanta defender.
The closing moments of the match were a gritty affair with CLTFC trying to hold to their lead while Atlanta tried to get an equalizer. Atlanta’s Caleb Wiley got the closest to scoring the equalizer in the 87th minute but missed just wide.
Charlotte’s Titi Ortiz had a chance to score the dagger in the 90th minute but also just narrowly missed wide. In the end, the Crown stood strong and were able to defend their lead until the end.
It’s normally the players who score the goals, have flashy moves, or make the crunching tackles that garner the attention of fans. But on every team, you need guys who don’t do the flashy stuff and do it well.
Daniel Ríos is that guy and that is now three wins in the three starts Ríos has made this year.
Ríos’s unselfishness and work rate has been key to the team’s best performances of the season. He does the dirty work of holding the ball up for teammates, making runs into open up lanes, and sprinting back to support the defense.
While his fellow striker Karol Świderski may get all the credit, Ríos is just as responsible for the team’s success despite not showing up on the scoresheet.
This match was CLTFC’s last home appearance before a three-match stretch away from home. Points away are tough to come by so getting all three for this match was going to be crucial.
It wasn’t as flashy of a win as their last two home matches, but it was a blue collar effort CLTFC will be proud of. Charlotte now sits in 5th place in the Eastern Conference with 9 points as they head to New England for the first of the away matches.