After allowing an early goal, Hartford Athletic did what they always do, climb back into the match. But on this night, as quickly as they climbed back in, they fell back out, losing to Charlotte Independence 2-1 in a crucial battle in the Atlantic Division playoff race.
After a couple of early Hartford chances that went turned away by Charlotte goalkeeper Austin Pack, Charlotte opened the scoring. Enzo Martinez took a cross into the box, pinged a shot off of defender Nico Cardona, and volleyed the loose ball to the far post, past a diving Jeff Caldwell to take the early lead. Hartford generated a handful of chances but it took until late in the second half for the Boys in Green to break through.
In the 81st minute, Younes Boudadi made a run up the right side with the ball. Dodging defenders, he cut in towards the box and was fouled just outside the box setting up a free kick. Who else but Danny Barrera stepped up to take it for the home side, curled a ball to the near post only for it to be headed in by a Charlotte defender for an own goal. Hartford had leveled the match! But just as quickly, Charlotte turned around and answered, with Dane Kelly scoring his 96th career goal to give Charlotte the lead.
Things got chippy in the final minutes with Charlotte defender Adam Armour assessed a Red Card. Hartford gave it everything they had over the final five minutes of stoppage time, but came up empty.
Hartford Athletic hit the road for three matches in a row. First up is a trip to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico United on Wednesday, October 6 at 9 PM.
Shots (On-Target): Hartford 17 (4) - 16 (4) Charlotte
Corners: Hartford 5-3 Charlotte
Fouls: Hartford 18-12 Charlotte
Offsides: Hartford 3-1 Charlotte
Possession: Hartford 44.7%-55.3% Charlotte
Passing Accuracy: Hartford 71.8%-80.8% Charlotte
Saves: Hartford 2-5 Charlotte
12' - Enzo Martinez 0-1
82' - Brandt Bronico (Own Goal) 1-1
83' - Dane Kelly (Enzo Martinez) 1-2
17' - Thomas Janjigian (Yellow)
44' - Justin Haak (Yellow)
48' - Dane Kelly (Yellow)
81' - Marcelo Palomino (Yellow)
86' - Younes Boudadi (Yellow)
88' - Christian Dean (Yellow)
90' - Sebastian Elney (Yellow)
90+1' - Adam Armour (Red)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP:
13 (GK) Jeff Caldwell; 3 (DF) Younes Boudadi, 4 (DF) Nicolás Cardona, 20 (DF) Thomas Janjigian, 30 (DF) Ashkanov Apollon; 10 (MF) Danny Barrera, 80 (MF) Justin Haak (Kenan Hot, 68'), 11 (MF) Luka Prpa (Conor McGlynn, 31'); 14 (FW) Derek Dodson (Sebastian Elney, 58'), 29 (FW) Juan Carlos Obregón Jr., 23 (FW) Preston Tabort Etaka (Walmer Martinez, 68')
CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE STARTING LINEUP:
1 (GK) Austin Pack; 3 (DF) Hugh Roberts, 12 (DF) Adam Armour, 22 (DF) Christian Fuchs; 8 (MF) Marcelo Palomino, 13 (MF) Brandt Bronico, 16 (MF) Jose Bizama (Joel Johnson, 45'), 19 (MF) Enzo Martinez; 9 (FW) Irvin Parra (Dane Kelly, 37'), 32 (FW) Gabriel Obertan (Jake Areman, 76'), 56 (FW) Sylvain Marveaux (Kevin Reascos, 77')