|Flat start dooms Charlotte Independence in loss to Charleston|
|Slow first half results in 3-0 loss|
|Published Wednesday, September 20, 2017 9:32 pm|
|The Charlotte Independence lost to Charleston 3-0 Wednesday, putting the Battery within a point of second in the USL East.|
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charlotte Independence did not show up to play.
In falling 3-0 to the Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium, where they have never won, the Jacks came out flat against their USL East rivals and stayed there.
“We didn’t look like we had enough energy, or could put pressure on them,” coach Mike Jeffries said. “Our passing was very hit or miss at best. It was just a very frustrating half. I actually felt like the second half that we had a stretch where we pushed the game and had some half chances. The game probably turns on a couple of plays.”
Said defender Bilal Duckett: “The way we started the game was poor, and it’s really disappointing, because we get after each other much harder and put in more energy than we did in the first 45 minutes of the game. We were much more positive in the second half, and just gave up another soft goal. I always take credit for my mistakes. I should’ve gone straight through the tackle—tried to make a different play, and set them off to the races. By that point, we dug ourselves such a big hole as a team, I just kind of put the cherry on top for them. It’s disappointing.”
Charlotte, 13-6-9 with 48 points, missed the presence of midfielders Jun Marques Davidson (injury) and Alex Martinez (red card suspension). Jeffries started rookie midfielder Callum Ross and Yann Ekra, but the two never connected to control the tempo.
“We miss Jun and Alex,” Jeffries said. “They're key guys for us. We're a different group without them, but that doesn’t excuse what was just a really poor first half for us. I take responsibility, because we weren’t prepared.”
Despite appeals for a penalty in the 64th minute for a challenge from Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper on striker Enzo Martinez, the Charlotte striker was ruled offside. Charleston, which is third in the East at 13-7-8 and 47 points hasn’t lost at home in 13 games.
“The controversial no-call took momentum away from us,” Jeffries said. “Those are plays on a night that we weren’t good enough to get the result.”
Despite dropping three points on the road, the Jacks remain second in the East by a point. With four games left, both sides are vying to maintain a spot in the top four to have home field advantage in the playoffs. They meet again in the regular season finale at the Sportsplex at Matthews, which will be the Battery’s first trip to the Jacks’ new facility.
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