Down a man for the final 30 minutes of the match and facing a tough team on the road, Louisville City FC got a goal from Luke Spencer in the 80' to push past surging Charlotte Independence Saturday night at the Sportsplex in Matthews, NC.
Spencer's goal lifted Louisville City to a much-needed win over a Charlotte team that has been moving up the Eastern Conference table in recent weeks and is now just one spot away from qualifying for the playoffs. With the win, Louisville City now has 33 points, good for seventh in the East.
"I think it is a massive three points for us," Louisville City coach John Hackworth said. "Not just the goal and the win, but the shutout. We tried some different things tactically this week and I thought the group responded really well. And it was a tough change for us because we did something different, something very different from what we typically do."
Without defender Alexis Souahy due to a Red Card last match and facing a recent run of conceding a goal first, Hackworth opened the match in a more defensive position. Louisville City is typically known as a pressing, offensive-minded team, but the new tactic worked vs. Charlotte and both teams went into the locker room scoreless at 0-0.
Then, in the second half, Louisville City was hit with more adversity when Paco Craig got a second Yellow Card and was sent off, leaving Louisville City down a man for the remaining 30 minutes of the match. Thankfully, Charlotte lost a player to Red Card as well when Alex Martinez was sent off 12 minutes later.
Spencer came in for Abdou Thiam and came up big, burying a pass from Magnus Rasmussen in the back of the net in the 80th minute after a scramble for the ball.
"We had great resolve tonight," Hackworth said. "Even when we were down a man for that stretch, I felt like we were going to win this game."
Louisville City fended off a few dangerous chances from Charlotte in the second half and hung on for the win and the clean sheet as goalkeeper Chris Hubbard finished with three saves.
Check out highlights from the match: