CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Independence took their first victory under Head Coach Jim McGuinness as they defeated Steel FC at the Sportsplex at Matthews. The Independence took the lead just before the half-hour mark off a free kick from the left. Mark Hill’s shot from the narrow angle came off the left post but caromed to his fellow Celtic FC loanee Andrew Gutman for a tap-in finish. Charlotte almost added to its lead three minutes before halftime when Jorge Herrera’s shot was blocked away to safety, and the Colombian threatened again in the 55th minute as he forced a good save from Bethlehem goalkeeper Carlos Miguel Coronel. Herrera struck with 18 minutes to go, however, as he looped home a header off cross from the right into the top-left corner, but Bethlehem pulled a goal back eight minutes later as Willis Chavany bundled home a finish after the ball pinballed around the penalty area. Steel FC pressed for a late equalizer, and Independence goalkeeper Curtis Anderson made a good late save to keep out James Chambers’ looping finish, but the hosts held firm to secure their first three points of the campaign.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jorge Herrera, Charlotte Independence – Herrera’s 67th regular-season goal of his career proved the game-winner and the Colombian put in a solid all-around display leading the forward line.