Charlotte FC came from behind to win yet again over Chicago Fire FC. This time, 21-year-old Brandon Cambridge was the star man, scoring a match-winning brace in just his 3rd career MLS appearance.
Lineup: Kahlina, Lindsey, Malanda, Sobocinski, Byrne, Jones, Bronico, Westwood, Swiderski, Copetti, Meram
Charlotte FC dominated the early stages of the match with the lion’s share of possession. This dominance resulted in two big penalty shouts, both involving Enzo Copetti but neither of which was awarded by referee Tori Penso.
Ten minutes into the match, a passage of good play resulted in Brandt Bronico slipping Copetti in behind. His aggressive first touch got him on the wrong side of the defender, and it appeared he was barged over from behind. Penso and VAR didn’t share the opinion of the CLTFC players or home crowd, though, and no penalty was given.
It only took fifteen minutes for Copetti to be involved in yet another contentious decision. This time, Ashley Westwood played a well-weighted long ball over the top for Copetti, who took his first touch beyond the Chicago defender. The Argentine went down from a last-ditch sliding challenge, but again was not rewarded with a penalty.
Chicago got themselves back in the game following the first 25 minutes of CLTFC dominance. Kristijan Kahlina made an excellent point blank save in the 27th minute, but Kacper Przybylko was able to slot one past him two minutes later on a breakaway. Kahlina had initially made a high caliber 1v1 stop, but the unlucky rebound fell directly back to the Polish striker to pass into an empty net.
From there, the half wound down with a few half chances for both sides. The Crown dominated possession and the Fire mainly looked to play on the break, but neither could find a clear chance before halftime.
Lineup: Kahlina, Lindsey (59′), Malanda (84′), Sobocinski, Byrne, Jones, Bronico, Westwood, Swiderski, Copetti, Meram (90′)
Substitutions: Cambridge (59′), Tuiloma (84′), Hegardt (90′)
Charlotte FC came out of the gates hot again to start the second half, resulting in a similar narrative to the first. Copetti had two more potential penalties waved off – one a handball on the Chicago defender, one a pull-back on Copetti’s shirt – and the Crown couldn’t get on the board.
Head Coach Christian Lattanzio quickly made a tactical shift by bringing in winger Brandon Cambridge for defender Jaylin Lindsey at the…