CHARLOTTE – Charlotte FC earned its third straight home victory along with a measure of revenge against Atlanta United, as Jordy Alcivar’s 11th-minute “Olimpico” fueled 1-0 victory for CLTFC at Bank of America Stadium Sunday.
Alcivar curled the ball in from the near side corner on the west side of the stadium past the outstretched arms of Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan, marking the first career MLS goal for Charlotte FC’s young designated player. The 22-year-old Ecuadorian said he received some counsel from one of the club’s fellow young guns.
“The truth is I was practicing a lot this week with [Charlotte FC midfielder] Ben Bender,” Alcivar said through an interpreter. “I think I practiced it enough to be able to do it today.”
Charlotte FC Head Coach Miguel Angel Ramirez seemed surprised postgame that Alcivar’s strike meant the game’s only tally.
“We deserved to go to halftime with more goals, because we had too many chances,” Ramirez said. “They changed and they have top players in the bench to push us to win the second half, but we were able to compete, to suffer, well-organized. This group is simply amazing how they compete.”
CLTFC avenged its opening match of the rivalry with the “Five Stripes”, as they failed to yield a result on March 13th after a 2-1 defeat. The win for Atlanta was the first of three straight games with a stoppage time goal to assure either a win or come-from-behind draw. Atlanta had its opportunities again to show its flair for the dramatic, but the final stoppage-time corner from Brooks Lennon went begging.
“The history with Atlanta and the last few matches shows that you can get them if you come with life,” Ramirez said.
“Not at any moment did I think we were going to lose. We can also compete and win against giants; that’s the beauty of soccer.”
Charlotte FC has secured nine points in its first seven games, in advance of a critical stretch of three straight road games at New England, Colorado, and Orlando City. CLTFC is still looking for its first victory away from home.
The visit to New England can be heard Saturday night on WFNZ (AM 610/92.7 FM) with coverage beginning at 7 PM.