[CHARLOTTE-DENVER]Aidan Kirkbride scored with four seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime and then struck the golden goal to give No. 5 Charlotte a 2-1 win over Denver in Kevin Langan's debut as 49er coach.
“I thought we played very well tonight,” said Langan, who earned his first victory as a college head coach. “I know that we scored with four seconds left in regulation but in the second half we put Denver under relentless pressure. I was pleased with our character and heart. I was really proud of the team tonight.”
Kirkbride scored following Donnie Smith's free kick into the penalty area with 10 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.
He was opportunistic again to head the rebound of Jennings Rex's into the goal for the winner.
“Aidan is just an unsung hero,” Langan said. “He does so much work in the midfield. Tonight it was his turn to shine. He has a great soccer IQ so that is why he was in the right place to score the goals tonight.”
The 49ers controlled the run of play for the majority of the game as they finished with a 24-3 advantage in shots and 13-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Aug. 25 in Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte 2 Denver 1.Goals: Kirkbride (Smith) 90, Kirkbride (Jennings) 104; Wren 32.
Charlotte --Davis, Bradnock-Brenna, Allen, Barnhorst, Perez, Darby, Kirkbride, Smith, Gibson, Mayhew, Gentile. Subs: Bonilla, Rex, Parker.
Denver --Brown, Beckie, Shannon, Remman, Hukari, Jeralds, McHugh, Bolden, Weigand, Chapleski, Eubanks. Subs: Harris, Dodson, Wren, Hunter, Crosswait, Schweitzer.
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