Charlotte FC forced the visiting New York Red Bulls to commit an own goal in the 74th minute on Saturday night to forge a 1-1 draw.
The draw earned Charlotte (1-3-1, five points) its first home points of the season. Vinicius Mello made an impact in his MLS debut after missing the entire 2022 campaign due to a foot injury.
In the 74th minute, Mello cut inside from the right wing and curled a cross into the box for Kerwin Vargas. Vargas attempted to pick out a cross in front of the goal for Enzo Copetti, but Andres Reyes slid in to deflect the ball into his own net.
Both teams pushed for a late winner but both teams’ goalkeepers and defenders stood tall despite a flurry of chances. Charlotte keeper George Marks finished with five saves while Red Bulls keeper Carlos Colonel finished with one save on Charlotte’s only shot on goal in the match.
The draw is the first between the two teams, as both sides won their respective home matches in 2022.
Just two minutes before halftime, New York’s press broke Charlotte down and the moment came in an interaction between two players pressed into service due to absences.
Nathan Byrne, playing center back after a late Bill Tuiloma scratch, had a back pass get away from him. Elias Manoel, starting for Cory Burke who is on international duty with Jamaica, bodied Byrne off the ball and beat Marks one-on-one in the 43rd minute. That marked the first time that the Red Bulls (1-1-3, six points) opened the scoring this season. It also marked Manoel’s third MLS goal, and all three have come against Charlotte.
It was an unsurprising statistical match for a Red Bulls away game, with Charlotte dominating possession 73.9 percent to 26.1 percent. However, New York outshot the hosts 9-6, 6-1 in shots on target. It was also a chippy affair with the Red Bulls getting whistled 21 times to Charlotte’s 16 with a total of seven yellow cards being handed out.
–Field Level Media