Photo courtesy of Toronto FC II
VAUGHAN, Ontario – Even without some of its main scoring options, the Charlotte Independence continued to forge ahead in the Eastern Conference standings with a season-high five tallies. Patrick Slogic and Alex Martinez each scored in the opening half. David Estrada notched a cheeky chip goal in the second half, while Aly Hassan and Norberto Ochoa scored their first of the campaign in the closing minutes to post a convincing 5-1 victory against Toronto FC II on Sunday at the Ontario Soccer Centre. Charlotte moved from sixth to third in the East standings with the victory. Slogic opened the scoring with a fourth-minute rebound and Martinez showed some tenacity in creating his own chance in the 39th minute. Estrada added to the lead in the 53rd minute as Charlotte posted its fourth win in five games. Brian James halted the Independence’s momentum with a strike of his own in the 58th minute, but a half hour later Hassan helped the Independence regain a three-goal cushion. Charlotte moves to 13-7-6 (45 points) overall and 5-3-5 on the road. Toronto dropped its fifth consecutive match, falling to 6-17-5 (27 points) overall and 3-7-3 at home.
4’ – CLT – Patrick Slogic
39’ – CLT – Alex Martinez
53’ – CLT – David Estrada (Yann Ekra)
58’ – TOR – Brian James
88’ – CLT – Aly Hassan (Lewis Hilton)
90’ – CLT – Norberto Ochoa (Aly Hassan)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. It didn’t take long for Charlotte to grab an advantage during a fourth-minute corner kick opportunity by Jorge Herrera from the left side. Herrera’s right-footed ball was actually bound for the net and TFCII goalkeeper Clint Irwin had to make the save. He tried to bat the ball away, but he didn’t get much behind it as the rebound was up for grabs at the near left post for the Independence. Patrick Slogic rushed in for the header. During that play, Slogic’s knee connected with Irwin and play was stopped to check his right eye, but the Toronto FC goalkeeper continued to play in his second consecutive TFCII appearance. Slogic netted his third goal of the season. Alex Martinez then pushed the lead to two with a hard-fought effort, carving his way through Toronto’s defense and finishing in the 39th minute to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.
2. The craftiest score of the night went to David Estrada with a left-footed chip over Irwin to take a 3-0 lead in the 53rd minute. Yann Ekra played a nice through ball to lead Estrada on the run and from 20 yards out and Irwin off of his line to try and limit the angles, Estrada lofted it well into the back of the net for his fourth tally of the season. Aly Hassan also had a chip of his own in the closing minutes, finishing a Lewis Hilton through ball for the club's fourth goal. Hassan would add an assist on Norberto Ochoa's stoppage-time tally to complete the rout.
3. Toronto tried to put aside a lackluster first half aside, and TFCII looked a bit better during the final 45. The Reds finally found the score sheet with a strong individual effort from Brian James. On the dribble from the left side, James worked the ball up-field and then fired a long-distance shot from about 25 yards into the upper left corner to cut Charlotte’s lead to 3-1 in the 58th minute. James, who leads TFCII with 27 appearances this season, notched his second goal of the campaign.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Toronto FC II vs. Orlando City B – Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m. ET, Ontario Soccer Centre
Charlotte Independence vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Sept. 10, 7 p.m. ET, Ramblewood Soccer Complex