Charlotte FC wins at home against New York Red Bulls in first match with new interim head coach

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte FC was back in action on Saturday, hosting the New York Red Bulls at Bank of America Stadium.

It’s the first game since the club fired head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez, just 14 games into the season. Charlotte’s interim head coach, Christian Lattanzio, took to the pitch in his new role.

It looked like both teams would head into halftime without a single goal, but in the fourth minute of extra time in the 45th minute, Charlotte FC’s Benjamin Bender took a left footed shot from outside the box to the center of the goal. He was assisted by Christian Ortiz.

This is the second back-to back match that the 21-year-old midfielder has made a goal.

Just when it seemed the game would end 1-0, Charlotte FC marked again, with a goal by midfielder Derrick Jones in the first minute of extra time in the 90th minute. Jones was assisted by Sergio Ruiz.

Prior to this game, the Red Bulls had only lost three of their last 20 league matches against expansion teams dating back to the 2011 season. However, New York did lose its last MLS match against a newcomer, falling 2–1 at home to Inter Miami in October 2020.

New York’s strong start this season has been almost solely based on its away games. At five total, the Red Bulls tied the MLS record for the most consecutive road wins to begin a season and have won 16 out of 23, or 69.6% of their points on the road in 2022. Charlotte FC marked a dent in that record on Saturday.

Charlotte’s offensive struggles have come mostly from their issues in the box. Charlotte has scored a league-low of nine goals in the box despite ranking near the middle of the pack in attempts in the box.

The Red Bulls’ Lewis Morgan has been one of the best acquisitions of the winter, leading New York with six goals in 2022. Morgan has attempted 320 open play crosses since joining MLS in 2020 a number that’s more than any other player’s in that time.

(WATCH BELOW: Charlotte FC fires Head Coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez)