FORT COLLINS, CO – The Charlotte Independence dropped a wild match 3-1 on the road at Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC on Sunday, July 17th.
“We have to make sure we come out with a stronger mentality to deal with whatever the conditions are at Tucson,” Charlotte Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “So, I think we’ll learn the lessons from this game and that will make us stronger coming into the next week.”
The Independence were unlucky to concede a penalty kick which was converted by Northern Colorado’s #10 Irvin Parra in the 14th minute. The Hailstorm doubled the lead in the 21st minute with a header by #8 Nortei Nortey from a corner kick.
On a cross from #2 Koa Santos, #11 Tresor Mbuyu struck a beautiful attempt on target while falling to the ground, but it was saved by the Hailstorm goalkeeper. The play resulted in a free kick for the Jacks which Santos hit off the crossbar.
Northern Colorado added a third goal shortly after the first half hydration break as #11 Marky Hernandez finished the rebound of #19 Jerry Desdunes’ shot saved by #30 Adrian Zendejas off the goalpost.
The Hailstorm carried the lead into halftime: Charlotte Independence 0 – Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC 3.
“The scoreline is disappointing but we gave up very soft goals in the first half,” Jeffries said.
Zendejas opened the second half with multiple crucial saves, tipping one over the crossbar, punching away a corner kick, and deflecting a shot wide.
The Independence got a goal back through a penalty kick slotted by #90 Khori Bennett in the 67th minute. It took three tries by the Jacks to finish the penalty kick after Hailstorm goalkeeper #1 Thomas Olsen stepped off his line early twice, saving Mbuyu’s attempt followed by a try by #17 Clay Dimick. Olsen received his second yellow card of the match, leaving Northern Colorado with 10 men for the remainder of the match. Bennett recorded his third goal of the season with the shot past new goalkeeper #21 Johan Penaranda.
“Pleased to be on the scoresheet but a disappointing result,” Bennett said. “We have to learn from it put it behind us and get prepared for the next game”
The Independence made multiple substitutions in the second half. One included bringing on #25 Brayden Keenan who made his USL League One debut.
“It was a great experience making my debut with the club I grew up playing for. It’s a moment in my life I will never forget, but I wish the game could’ve ended in our favor,” Keenan said. “We, as a team, are ready to get back to work as we prepare for Tucson next Saturday.”
Despite many offensive efforts in the final 20 minutes, the Jacks could not find the back of the net again.
The match finished Charlotte Independence 1 – Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC 3.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The Charlotte Independence are on the road again next weekend as they travel west to face FC Tucson on Saturday, July 23 at 10:00 PM ET. Fans can live stream the match for free on bahakelsports.com.