|Jacks end 8-game winless streak with 1-0 result vs. Nashville|
|Je-Vaughn Watson's goal lifts Independence|
|Published Sunday, September 2, 2018|
MATTHEWS—Could one win be the spark the Charlotte Independence needed?
A 1-0 win against Nashville (10-8-8, eighth in the USL East with 38 points) Saturday at Sportsplex marked their first win since July 11, when they beat the same side in identical fashion. The Jacks sit 11th with 32 points at 8-11-8, three spots out of playoff contention.
“It’s been a really difficult stretch,” coach Mike Jeffries said of going 0-5-3 in the prior eight matches. “Tonight getting a win and a shut out is huge
Charlotte’s final seven regular season games could create the run that usually occurs midseason for a club that has made the playoffs the last two seasons, but traditionally struggles at season’s end.
“Sometimes you want one win to get over that edge, because losing is a habit, and winning is a habit,” defender Je-Vaughn Watson said. “If you constantly lose, it’s just easy to say, ‘ah we lose one more game,’ but if you win a game, you understand what it means to win. You win again, you’re like, ‘I like winning.’ You have to constantly put in what it takes to win a game.”
Watson, whose 25th minute goal off a corner from defender Sam Vines clinched the win for Charlotte, expects this to be the start of their push toward the playoffs.
“In every league in the world, at the end of the season there is a team that always makes a run,” Watson said. “It’s just who is going to stay more focused. You’re here for nine months, eight months. Everybody is like, ‘the season is so long. I want to go home. I want to rest.’ If you’re focused at the end of the season, the last seven-eight games, you’re focused, locked in, I guarantee you can win like six games. You can go on a run for six games.”
Said Vines: “Set pieces [are] a big part of our game. Credit to the guys for finishing the crosses. I mean, it’s just a cross. Credit to these guys for finishing them.”
Watson’s performance against Nashville resulted in his first goal for the Jacks, something he insists no one should be surprised by.
“Funny, funny thing,” Watson said. “I normally score goals, but since I got here, I just couldn’t score. I’m getting in the box. I just wasn’t that dangerous. I went home, and I’m like, ‘what am I doing wrong? I’m not really doing anything wrong. I’m just not getting the ball.’”
Watson called midfielder Kevan George off on the corner, sending a one-time left-footed strike into the back of the net.
“He was going to jump, and I said, ‘leave it,’” Watson said. “I just passed it into the goal. I didn’t try to go for power. I just go for placement.”
Vines leads Charlotte with four assists, two of which have come in their last two matches.
Goalkeeper Brandon Miller’s fifth game resulted in his second clean sheet.
Charlotte hosts 2017 LigaMX champions Santos Laguna on Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
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