Yellow and red cards play large factor in NCFC loss to Charlotte Independence

— Saturday night’s match between North Carolina FC and the Charlotte Independence was a physical battle through the final whistle, marked by eight yellow cards and two red cards amongst the two teams. A goal in the first minutes of the second half won the match for the Independence, 1-0.

Just before halftime, Charlotte Independence forward Dane Kelly was shown a red card for a rough tackle on DJ Taylor. The tackle caused an uproar between the two teams and the Independence were shown two more cards – a yellow to their captain, Enzo Martinez, and another yellow to their goalkeeper, Brandon Miller. Nazmi Albadawi received a yellow card for NCFC.

The Charlotte Independence found the net early into the second half when midfielder Jake Areman took a free-kick from outside the eighteen, finding the head of defender Aaron Maund. Maund scored to put Charlotte up 1-0 in the 51st minute.

NCFC was only able to take advantage of Charlotte being down a man for 22 minutes before Albadawi was shown another yellow card, equaling a red card. Sam Brotherton took over as the team captain and both sides were down to 10 men.

North Carolina FC spent the better part of the second half in the attacking third in the hunt for the equalizer. In the 76th minute, DJ Taylor dribbled into the Charlotte box and curved a shot just wide, narrowly missing the net despite being pulled down in the process. Protests erupted from the NCFC sideline and were met with a yellow card administered to NCFC head coach Dave Sarachan.

In the last minutes of the match, NCFC continued to press the Charlotte defense in a desperate attempt to tie the game. In the 89th minute, midfielder Graham Smith fired a shot from well beyond the eighteen and towards the lower 90, only for the ball to be scooped up by Miller. Despite several attempts to score, NCFC was unable to find a goal as the final whistle blew.

Looking Ahead: North Carolina FC will travel to face Memphis 901 FC on Wednesday, September 23 at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee at 8 p.m. ET.


  • Former NCFC Youth Academy players DJ Taylor, Dre Fortune, Conor Donovan, and Manny Perez were all starters in tonight’s match.
  • NCFC maintained 59.7% possession during the match and 85.4% passing accuracy.
  • Between the two teams, there were eight yellow cards and two red cards administered during the match.
  • Alex Tambakis had two saves during the match, bringing his season total to 34 saves.

Box Score:

NC (4-5-1): Alex Tambakis; DJ Taylor (Graham Smith, 86’), Conor Donovan, Sam Brotherton, Akeem Ward; Manny Perez, Nazmi Albadawi ©, Pecka (Ben Speas, 77’), Dre Fortune, Hadji Barry (Danielle Proch, 86’); Marios Lomis (Robert Kristo, 70’)

Subs Not Used: Alex Comsia, Malik Mbaye, Paolo Pita

CLT (4-4-2): Brandon Miller; Clay Dimick, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Maund, Jake Areman; Junior Etou, Duke Lacroix, Luke Haakenson (Val Sabella, 83’), Rey Ortiz (Derek Gebhard, 46’); Enzo Martinez ©, Dane Kelly

Subs Not Used: Austin Pack, Shalom Dutey, Oscar Ramsay, Guido Vadala, Christian Chaney


NC: —
CLT: Aaron Maund (Jake Areman, 51’)


NC: Nazmi Albadawi (45’), DJ Taylor (50’), Nazmi Albadawi (67’), Conor Donovan (69’), Dre Fortune (74’), Bench (75’)
CLT: Enzo Martinez (45’), Brandon Miller (45’)


NC: Nazmi Albadawi (67’)
CLT: Dane Kelly (44’)

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