Charlotte Independence 0-1 Louisville FC

Cameron Lancaster’s free-kick winner in the 93rd minute dropped Charlotte Independence to an opening night loss in the United Soccer League at Ramblewood Soccer Complex.

Lancaster powered the ball past Cody Mizell, who got a piece of it, and into the top-right corner just as the rain started falling.

The Independence will rue two golden missed opportunities to breakthrough either side of the break.

Lewis Hilton saw his effort from distance saved shortly after kickoff whilst Jorge Herrera had a second half penalty pawed away.

Charlotte, in just its second full campaign, fell to 0-2 in season openers.

Hilton put the hosts on the front foot following an attempt from outside the box that forced Scott Goodwin into a sensational save to deny the Englishman.

But despite a bright start by Charlotte, the visitors took control of play attacking down the right flank through Sean Reynolds and Paco Craig.

Craig’s in swinging cross in the 16th minute had to be guided behind for a corner as Kalungi beat his man to the ball at the near post.

Mizell then kept out Chandler Hoffman eight minutes later after the forward found space to the right.

The match changed when Mark-Anthony Kaye was booked for a high challenge on David Estrada in the 21st minute.

Following the defence of successive corner kicks, Jorge Herrera broke into the box shortly before the half hour mark but his dinked cross didn’t get beyond the first defender.

And from the resulting corner, Patrick Slogic was unable to direct his header on target after Caleb Calvert rose above everyone to flick the ball down.

The 19-year-old forward then flashed a wide-open attempt over the goal following a blocked cross on the stroke of halftime.

Mizell was called back into action with a quarter hour remaining but the Independence keeper coolly palmed away Kaye’s shot from point-blank.

Not more than a minute later, Calvert drew a penalty as he was brought down from behind in the box.

But Herrera, who was three of four from the spot last season, failed to convert as a fully extended Goodwin dove to his left and made the save.

Charlotte though was undone at the death as Lancaster curled the ball into the inside side netting.

Charlotte Independence starting XI: Mizell, Slogic, Kalungi, Duckett, Metcalf, Hilton (Marques Davidson 54’), Ekra (Appiah 76’), Estrada, Herrera (Ochoa 83’), Martinez (Hellman 63’), Calvert.
Unused subs: Renfro, Yearwood, Bartlett.
Bookings: Herrera, Martinez, Metcalf, Kalungi.

Louisville starting XI: Goodwin, Smith, Reynolds, Shanosky, Son, Abend, Quinn (c), Kaye, Davis IV (Dacres 58’), Lubahn, Hoffman (Lancaster 76’)
Unused subs: Ranjitsingh, Depiccolo, Morad, Montano.
Bookings: Kaye, Shanosky.

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