Efraín Álvarez scored a golazo in the second half to spoil Charlotte FC's record-setting inaugural home opener, as the LA Galaxy beat the expansion side 1-0 Saturday night in front of a rocking crowd at Bank of America Stadium.
HIGHLIGHTS: Charlotte FC vs. LA Galaxy | March 05, 2022
With 74,479 fans in attendance – the biggest standalone crowd in MLS history – Charlotte showed energy to start the match, but the pace of play was ultimately dictated by the Galaxy, who outshot the home side 15-1 in the opening 45 minutes. Had it not been for the performance of goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina, Charlotte could have easily fallen behind in the first half.
Although Charlotte tightened things up at the back in the second frame, they had no answer for Álvarez's wonder strike. In the 77th minute, the 19-year-old Homegrown midfielder sent a stunning distance shot off the far post and in, silencing the home fans and giving the Galaxy the deserving 1-0 win.
- 77' – LAG – Efraín Álvarez | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't the result they hoped for, but fans have been waiting a very long time for Charlotte's home opener and this one lived up to the hype. With 74,479 fans in attendance, Charlotte set the record for the biggest standalone crowd in MLS history, surpassing Southeastern rivals Atlanta United, who drew just over 73,000 for MLS Cup in 2018. Greg Vanney's LA squad has won two games in a row to open the season, a notable feat considering they missed the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in 2021.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Efraín Álvarez's 77th-minute goal may just be an early nominee for AT&T Goal of the Year. The Mexican international showed why there's so much hype around the young man.
Efraín Álvarez GOLAZO silences 75k fans at Charlotte FC!
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Kristijan Kahlina. The Galaxy's expected goals were 1.92 to Charlotte's 0.6 and had it not been for the Charlotte goalkeeper, this one could have gotten out of hand. Kahlina finished with five saves in the loss.
- CLT: Sunday, March 13 at Atlanta United | 4:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; TSN1 in Canada)
- LA: Saturday, March 12 at Seattle Sounders FC | 3:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada)