Full Time

Full Time: Missed Chances Lead to Scoreless Draw | Charlotte FC vs CF Montreal

MTL Full Time

Charlotte FC came up short on Saturday night in a 0-0 home draw against Eastern Conference foe CF Montreal. The Crown piled on pressure late on against the Canadian side but couldn’t find the final finishing touch.

First Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Tuiloma, Corujo, Jones, Lindsey, Westwood, Bender, Swiderski, Vargas, Copetti, Meram

Charlotte FC opened the half strong on the ball and dominated the first 10 minutes of possession. They were rewarded with the first big chance of the game when Guzman Corujo’s clearance found Justin Meram in space on the left side. Cutting inside on his right foot, he had Enzo Copetti completely free, but he overplayed the pass as the striker checked his run to stay onside and the chance was gone.

Straight away on the other end, Montreal had a good chance of their own with an incisive pass to Sunusi Ibrahim. He found himself alone inside the box, but Kristijan Kahlina made a strong save with his left foot to keep the game scoreless.

From there, the game settled into a rhythm of half chances, with Charlotte FC mostly in the ascendancy. In the 27th minute, Swiderski opened up the Montreal defense with a line-breaking pass across the box. Meram received the ball staring the best chance of the half in the face, but he took one too many prep touches and Jonathan Sirois saved his shot well at the near post.

Montreal found a better foothold in the match after Meram’s miss, successfully forcing Charlotte FC into mistakes playing out of the back. Some confusion between Ashley Westwood and Kahlina led to a poor clearance that found its way to Bryce Duke on top of the eighteen. Luckily for the Crown, he blazed his one-time effort over the bar.

The half then wound down quickly with few chances either way and the referee sent the teams to the locker rooms without adding any stoppage time.

Second Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Tuiloma, Corujo (67’), Jones, Lindsey, Westwood, Bender (56’), Swiderski, Vargas (83’), Copetti (84’), Meram (56’)

Substitutions: Bronico (56’), Jozwiak (56’), Sobocinski (67’), Gaines (83’), Agyemang (84’)

The second half got off to a plodding start before a Montreal counter attack had Charlotte FC hearts in mouths. Derrick Jones had a shot blocked from a long free kick and the rebound caromed out to Montreal striker Ibrahim, who beat Westwood in a foot race. Ibrahim found Duke in a promising position on top of the eighteen, but Kerwin Vargas did excellent work to track all the way back and execute a professional foul. He avoided a red card on the play due to Jaylin Lindsey’s work to get underneath the play, and the ensuing free kick was fired wide of the goal.

After just 10 minutes, Head Coach Christian Lattanzio had seen enough and brought on Brandt Bronico and Kamil Jozwiak to liven the CLTFC attack behind Copetti and Swiderski.

Copetti’s pressing was relentless all night, giving Sirois fits when he had the ball at his feet. In the 65th minute, his hard work paid off when a loose pass gifted the ball to Vargas. Copetti then laid the pass off to Swiderski, who struck it straight at Sirois.

CLTFC kept the momentum going with a back-to-front build just a minute later, as Bill Tuiloma pinged another excellent switch after a neat one-two in his defensive third. Jozwiak found a good position inside the box but had his cross blocked out for a corner.

After a small lull in the middle of the half, Charlotte FC wrestled the momentum back as the last fifteen minutes began to wind down. Jozwiak and Vargas were both lively cutting in on the wings despite not being able to quite execute the final pass. With time running out, Lattanzio went to his bench for answers with McKinze Gaines and Patrick Agyemang.

The two young Americans kept it rolling and helped put Montreal under heaps of pressure. The Canadian team was pinned in over the final period of the game as Charlotte continued to find good positions in the box and deliver dangerous crosses.

However, the late pressure wasn’t quite enough as the Crown couldn’t find the final finishing touch, leaving both teams to take home a point in Charlotte FC’s first scoreless draw of the season.