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Mar 23, 2024 10:24 pm

Charlotte FC strike late to knock off Crew

charlotte fc, crew

Ashley Westwood and Patrick Agyemang scored late as host Charlotte FC defeated the short-handed Columbus Crew 2-0 on Saturday.

Westwood scored in the 83rd minute and Agyemang tallied in the 88th, helping Charlotte (2-2-1, seven points) take advantage of a Crew squad that played with 10 men for more than two-thirds of the match.

Columbus (3-1-1, 10 points) failed to set the record for the best five-match start by a defending MLS Cup champion, currently held by the 1999 Chicago Fire, who had 12 points.

Westwood ripped a shot from 19 yards out for the lead, and Agyemang scored from the left side of the box. It was each player’s first goal of the season.

Crew midfielder Derrick Jones, who played for Charlotte last season, received a red card in the 26th minute, eight minutes after he entered the match, for stepping on the foot of Djibril Diani.

Jones replaced defender Rudy Camacho, who left the match with an undisclosed injury in the 18th minute. It was that kind of night for the Crew, with forward Christian Ramirez exiting five minutes later with an apparent hamstring injury.

The injuries were amplified because starting midfielder Aidan Morris is away with the United States Under-23 team.

Also, Crew coach Wilfried Nancy missed the match due to an illness. No assistant was specifically named to take over the role.

Charlotte was not immune, though, as midfielder Scott Arfield suffered an apparent lower-body injury and was forced out in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time.

With Crew goalkeeper Patrick Schulte away with the U-23 team as well, Evan Bush made his first MLS regular-season start since Oct. 3, 2021. He made three saves.

The Crew did not have a shot on goal, while Charlotte had five.

The first half ended wildly. Cucho Hernandez thought he scored his fourth goal of the season in the 10th minute of stoppage time, but video review wiped it out because of offside, and Charlotte immediately went down the field and was awarded a penalty when Yaw Yeboah brushed Kerwin Vargas in the middle of the box.

However, Iuri Tavares sent his kick from the spot a good 5 yards wide right.

–Field Level Media

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