Photo courtesy of Mark Thor / Orlando City B
ORLANDO – With several games in hand against the rest of the Eastern Conference, the Charlotte Independence have ample time to make a move up the table. Despite going down early Saturday, the Independence scored three unanswered en route to a 3-1 victory against Orlando City B at Orlando City Stadium. Jorge Herrera tallied a goal and assist, while David Estrada and Enzo Martinez provided first-half tallies as Charlotte won its second straight. With the win, the Independence improve to 3-2-2 (11 points) overall and 2-1-1 on the road. Albert Dikwa gave OCB the early lead, but the host side was shut down the rest of the way. Orlando drops to 3-4-3 (12 points) overall and 1-2-2 at home.
20’ – ORL – Albert Dikwa (Pierre Da Silva)
40’ – CLT – David Estrada (Alex Martinez)
45’ – CLT – Enzo Martinez (Jorge Herrera)
51’ – CLT – Jorge Herrera (Joel Johnson)
#ORLvCLT: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Charlotte and Orlando were both quite organized in the opening half. While OCB tended to have the edge chances-wise and possession-wise (59 percent through the first 45 minutes), the Independence found a nice spell toward the end of the first half with back-to-back goals to finally break down OCB. Charlotte’s only two shots of the half were both in the back of the net, starting with David Estrada’s 40th-minute equalizer. Alex Martinez provided a rolling cross from the left toward the edge of the six-yard area and Estrada redirected. OCB defender Conor Donovan slid in just a tad late, but he couldn’t intercept and goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. could only watch Estrada’s shot dart past him inside the right post. Then in the 45th minute, Jorge Herrera went head-on through the OCB defense, dished to his left to Enzo Martinez and the 2016 MVP finalist finished to give Charlotte the lead and momentum heading into halftime with a 2-1 lead.
2. Herrera found a goal of his own in the 51st minute with a near post header to take a 3-1 advantage. The tally, which was his third of the season, moved him into sole possession of second place on the USL all-time goal scoring list with 43, moving ahead of former Richmond Kickers striker Matthew Delicate.
3. In the early going, Albert Dikwa was one of the best players on the pitch, not just because he scored a goal, but also had moments tracking back to reclaim the ball and keep the pressure in the attacking third. Dikwa got OCB on the score sheet first with his third goal of the season in the 20th minute. Setting him up was Pierre Da Silva, who notched his fifth assist to tie for the league lead with the Charleston Battery’s Justin Portillo. It also matches his assists total from a year ago. Da Silva drew three defenders from about 25 yards away from goal and set up Laryea to his left. With a deft touch, Laryea carved his right-footed shot inside the far right post to give Orlando the 1-0 lead.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Jorge Herrera, Charlotte Independence – For a second straight match, Herrera has been the crucial element of the Independence attack, picking apart the OCB defense with a goal and assist.
Orlando City B at Pittsburgh Riverhounds – June 3, 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium
Charlotte Independence vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies – June 4, 7 p.m. ET, Eagle Field