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Charlotte Independence miss chances in 1-1 draw vs. Orlando City
Shots plentiful, goals not so much
 
Published Saturday, August 19, 2017 9:49 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

MATTHEWS—The Charlotte Independence finally get a break.

Coming off five games in two weeks, the Jacks who are first in the USL East at 12-4-8 and 44 points, look to reset after tonight’s 1-all draw against Orlando (7-6-11, 32 points).

“We’re getting to the end of the season, and now there’s more pressure on all the games,” Independence coach Mike Jeffries said. “We’ve gotten to that part now where we’ve built our points, gotten into position. Now all the games have meaning. Certainly for us. We want to push ourselves as far as we can.”

Said defender Donnie Smith, who is on loan from the MLS New England Revolution: “We have some good depth, so if guys are tired, there are guys chomping at the bit to get starts and get minutes. It’s a tough amount of games in a short time span. It’s good the group will be able to rest for a week now, and have some healthy and fresh legs coming into next weekend.”

Giving away a penalty kick in the first five minutes, Charlotte responded quickly when midfielder David Estrada equalized in the seventh minute.

“For me, goals don’t really matter as much, as long as we’re winning,” Estrada said of scoring his fifth of the season—one shy of last season’s six. “Obviously it feels good to contribute on the scoresheet, but it was more a frustrating game than anything.”

Said Smith: “It stinks to give up the PK so early, because that was really their only chance in the first half. You have to keep patience. As the game goes on you know that we’re going to get chances. We were definitely peppering the goal. [Orlando goalkeeper Earl] Edwards was making good saves.”

Despite creating 21 shots, Charlotte put only nine on target. In juxtaposition, Orlando took 13 shots, but placed eight on target. Charlotte is still unbeaten at the Sportsplex since moving here in June, but tonight they were left to rue lost opportunities.

“It’s one of those games where we got so many chances,” Estrada said.

Said defender Joel Johnson: “Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win. We have to keep going, and the next two-three games at home, we need the three points for sure. If we play like today, we’re going to get them.”

 

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