Photo courtesy of Richmond Kickers
RICHMOND, Va. – Charlotte Independence midfielder Enzo Martinez tallied a goal in each half to lead the Independence to a strong 2-0 road victory against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday at City Stadium. Martinez converted a late first-half penalty kick and then headed home a Joel Johnson cross in the second half. Martinez had missed Charlotte’s last match against the Harrisburg City Islanders to serve a one-game suspension. The Independence improve to 5-3-4 (19 points) overall and 3-2-2 on the road. Richmond drops to 2-8-5 (11 points) overall and 2-4-3 at home. The Kickers are now winless in 10 straight (0-5-5).
45’ – CLT – Enzo Martinez (penalty)
57’ – CLT – Enzo Martinez (Joel Johnson)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Following his one-game suspension, Enzo Martinez returned doing what he does best as he recorded a pair of goals on the road. Martinez had served a suspension against the Harrisburg City Islanders, stemming from a second yellow card and sending off against FC Cincinnati earlier in the month. The 2016 USL MVP Finalist notched a confident penalty kick into the lower left corner of the frame in the first half in the 45th minute. Then in the 57th minute, Joel Johnson provided the burst up the right side and crossed in to Herrera who directed his low header into the left of the frame for a two-goal lead.
2. The Kickers’ tune this year has been potential chances, and they quite simply couldn’t put anything away Saturday. Anthony Grant particularly had multiple scoring opportunities in the early going of the match. He had a forgettable ninth-minute whiff from six yards out that certainly needed to be put on frame at the bare minimum. The Kickers as a whole out-shot Charlotte by a staggering 24-9 margin (7-2 advantage for shots on goal).
3. For the first time this season, the Independence have posted back-to-back wins, following up their 2-0 win against the Harrisburg City Islanders on June 17, which was the grand opening of the Sportsplex at Matthews. Goalkeeper Cody Mizell had a strong match to lead the way for the Independence on Saturday with his seven-save clean sheet, and Charlotte looks to be clicking on multiple levels moving forward.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence – The 2016 USL MVP Finalist returned from suspension with a goal in each half to lead the Independence to a strong road victory.
Richmond Kickers at Bethlehem Steel FC – July 1, 5 p.m. ET, Goodman Stadium
Charlotte Independence vs. Rochester Rhinos – July 1, 7 p.m. ET, Sportsplex at Matthews