FENTON, MO (April 22, 2017) – It was a dream return for Enzo Martinez. In his first start in the USL in months off of an injury, he scored a brace for Charlotte Independence. The side was able to hold on and beat Saint Louis FC 2-1 in Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.
Head Coach Preki had to make some changes due to injuries. With Sebastian Dalgaard and Ivan Mirkovic among others unavailable, Tyler David and Max Alvarez started in midfield. Jose Angulo started up top next to Christian Volesky.
Charlotte Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries got some reinforcements in this game. Enzo Martinez made his first start in months coming off an injury. Jun Marques Davidson started in midfield. Colorado Rapids substitute Dennis Castillo started at left back.
Charlotte Independence Beat Saint Louis FC On The Road Behind Enzo Martinez Brace
Saint Louis FC get out on the front foot at home again. The team came out with great energy and scored just four minutes in. Angulo capitalized on a poor back pass from Bilal Duckett. The forward ran onto the ball and chipped it over the sliding Cody Mizell.
The Independence would respond quickly. Enzo Martinez ran onto a long ball that split the center backs. He touched it out of the reach of a sliding A.J. Cochran. He then touched it around Austin Ledbetter, and slotted past Goalkeeper Devala Gorrick. It was 1-1 in the 8th minute.
Charlotte would take the lead with another goal from the Uruguayan striker. The visitors started on a quick counter in the 29th minute. The ball fell to Martinez outside the box and he shot and scored with no one closing him down. The half ended 2-1 with Saint Louis FC creating a few final chances in response to going down a goal.
The home side had the better of the play in the second half. Angulo and Volesky were dynamic together, linking up early and often to create scoring chances. The match got chippy around the 70th minute when Tony Walls started a string of yellow cards for both teams.
Saint Louis continued to push for an equalizer, but were unable to finish, despite several chances and corners. The match ended 2-1.
This was a huge result for Charlotte, who got their first win of the 2017 USL season. Martinez had a dream return to the side with a brace and the game winner. This is something to build on for a team that’s looking to make the playoffs again.
Saint Louis FC had another great start but a tough time finishing the game off. They’ve yet to play a full and consistent 90 minutes at home this year. The attack and depth is there. The talent is there. Preki needs he starters to get healthy and to continue to build chemistry in the side. That will help them put in a full performance going forward.