The Charlotte 49ers (1-1-0) dropped their home opener to the UNC Greensboro Spartans (2-0-0) by a score of 1-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Transamerica Field after an intense and emotional game.
Prior to Tuesday night’s upset, the 49ers had not lost a home opener since 1999.
The Spartans picked up their first and only goal of the game in the 7th minute of play when a Justin Jones throw-in connected with David Reittinger to put UNC Greensboro ahead by a goal.
In the first half of the game, the 49ers out shot the Spartans five shots to three. Charlotte had three corner kicks in the first half, but the 49ers were unable to convert any into goals.
The 49ers started off the second half of the game appearing fatigued, but they never stopped fighting. The Charlotte 49ers out shot the Spartans 10 shots to one, but were unsuccessful in scoring any goals.
The game was clearly a physical one for both teams, as a pushing-and-shoving match broke out in the 82nd minute of play. Charlotte’s David Mayer and UNC Greensboro’s Nicholas Downs both received yellow cards as a result of the scuffle.
49ers forward Giuseppe Gentile had five shots on UNC Greensboro’s goalkeeper Stephen Moffitt. Gentile scored the only two goals in Friday’s shutout at Denver.
“It was just difficult to come back from a physical, tough team like them,” said Gentile. “We just have got to do better.”
Head coach Kevin Langan knew the high emotion game would be a tough one for his team. Langan knew UNC Greensboro was not going to forget about last year’s 1-1 double overtime tie.
“It’s a tough one really, to come out with that lack of energy and urgency for our home opener,” said Langan.
“It’s a bump in the road. We’ve got to move on.”
The 49ers will move on from the loss and regain focus in preparation for an away game on Friday, Sept. 6 when Charlotte plays Coastal Carolina.