Full Time

The Full Time Clip: Charlotte FC Grab Late Victory in Wild Match Against 10-Man Columbus Crew

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CLTFC Captain Ashley Westwood and striker Patrick Agyemang fired home goals late on to hand The Crown all three points.

First Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Joao Pedro, Westwood, Diani, Arfield (45+5’), Vargas, Dejaegere, Agyemang

Substitutions: Tavares (45+5’)

After a somewhat hilarious start to the match – where referee Christopher Calderon had Charlotte FC retake the opening kickoff two separate times over the course of a full minute – it was a breathless, crazy, insane opening 25 minutes. There was nearly too much action packed into that opening stint to fully recap.

Columbus star striker Cucho Hernandez nearly found the top corner straight away. Then, Patrick Agyemang got in behind on the other end, firing into the side netting from a very tight angle. Then, Columbus smashed the ball against Kristijan Kahlina’s near post from a recycled corner kick. Then, CLTFC put together a great combination inside the box, ending with Brecht Dejaegere slotting across the six-yard box for Agyemang, who couldn’t get a foot on the ball. Then, Ashley Westwood picked up a yellow card for dissent after an obvious handball call was missed.

All of that happened in just the opening 15 minutes of the first half.

Then! Then, Charlotte FC found the back of the net in chaotic fashion in the 20th minute, only to see it chalked off by the referee for a foul on Agyemang. Dejaegere had a goal on a platter with an empty net but fluffed the bouncing cross. In the subsequent scramble inside the box, Agyemang poked it to Djibril Diani who passed the ball into the corner of the net. However, Agyemang was judged to have fouled Darlington Nagbe on the play, which held up under video review.

Don’t worry. The craziness didn’t stop there. At the 25-minute mark, former CLTFC midfielder Derrick Jones got sent off with a straight red card. The referee went to a video review after Jones and Diani came together in midfield, and the video showed Jones stepping on Diani’s ankle (in what appeared to be an unintentional, but painful and potentially dangerous, collision).

To add a wrinkle, the Crew had already substituted twice. One was Jones himself entering for an injured Rudy Camacho, and the other was Arfsten in for Christian Ramirez. This meant they had used two of their possible three substitution windows (five total subs are available, but only in three windows). So, since bringing another player on to change the tactics when down to 10 men would mean they were out of substitutions, Columbus elected to hold on to it.

Got all that? Good!

The rest of the first half was much more pedestrian than that opening stint. It was mostly characterized by lots of fouls, but not many clear chances or big moments. That is, right up until it got crazy again in a first half that had 10 minutes of stoppage time plus an extra seven beyond that.

Charlotte FC seemed to give up a gut punch of the goal deep into that stoppage time as Cucho Hernandez fired home from the top of the box. However, after a lengthy video review, Mo Farsi was offside as the CLTFC defenders claimed he was throughout.

Then, Vargas earned The Crown a penalty after a shove in the back inside the box, which the Crew defenders were very upset at being given as a penalty. Iuri Tavares – who had only just entered the field for a Scott Arfield apparent injury at the beginning of stoppage time – stepped up to take the penalty… and missed, putting his effort over the bar.

With that final bit of unexpected craziness, the referee blew the halftime whistle to end an hour-long first half somehow knotted at zeroes.

Second Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Joao Pedro (90'+ 3'), Westwood, Diani, Dejaegere (69'), Vargas, Tavares, Agyemang

Substitutions: Petkovic (69'), Uronen (90'+ 3')

To start the second half, Columbus replaced Yeboah with Cheberko for their third substitution but, confusingly, not their third substitution window – halftime does not count as one of the three windows. Don’t yell at me! I don’t make the rules, I just write them down.

Over the first 15 minutes, there was not a ton of action outside of a few half chances.

Agyemang got the first decent chance, rising highest to meet a Nathan Byrne cross in the middle of the box. His header went straight at Crew goalkeeper Evan Bush without much power, though.

A minute later, Diani picked off Bush’s pass on top of the box, passing to Tavares and going to ground in the process. Tavares’ resulting cross couldn’t find a teammate, and CLTFC Head Coach Dean Smith was extremely unhappy with a video check not occurring for the potential trip on Diani.

In the 67th minute, Columbus generated a good chance, with Hernandez and Rossi linking up inside the box only for Rossi to find the outside of the side netting with his shot from a tight angle.

Nikola Petkovic subbed in for Dejaegere soon after and was immediately a threat. Joao Pedro tucked inside and threaded a ball through the center of the defense for Petkovic, but Malte Amundsen made an excellent sliding intervention to get to the ball just before Petkovic could get his shot away.

In the 79th, Ashley Westwood had a chance for a half volley after a soft clearance by a Crew defender, but he sliced it somewhat and could not keep his effort below the bar.

However, the Club Captain would not be denied just four minutes later. Joao Pedro put a direct ball in towards Agyemang and it was cleared out to the top of the box, where Westwood was on hand to take it off his chest and volley it into the back of the net, sending the 30,104 fans in attendance wild.

Patrick Agyemang got his deserved goal in the 88th minute to seal the victory, receiving an excellent pass from Diani and blasting it past Bush into the top near post corner with his left foot, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

The Crew attempted a valiant last-ditch effort to salvage something from the match, but their efforts ultimately fell short. Charlotte ended their two-match losing streak by defeating the MLS Cup Champions, maintaining a perfect home record for the season.