Charlotte FC defeated conference rivals Inter Miami 1-0 on Saturday’s return to Bank of America Stadium to give Charlotte a fourth straight home win.
Andre Shinyashiki, who joined the extension team roster from Colorado Rapids earlier this week, scored the only goal of the game. He was joined by winger Yordy Reyna in the 68th minute.
“Now that I’ve watched the (goal) replay I think it’s pretty clear we’re keen to score goals and so I think we’re going to get a lot of that this year.” said Shinyashiki.
Here’s what else we learned from Charlotte FC’s game in front of an announced crowd of 32,018.
The former Rapids forward was picked up by Charlotte FC on Wednesday before the end of Major League Soccer’s primary transfer window. His arrival was announced on Tuesday and he spent the week in training before coming on for Charlotte in the second half and coming on along with Reyna in the 57th minute.
The pairing made a quick impression as Reyna sent the ball to a sprinting Shinyashiki, who slid his right foot just outside the net to meet him. He fired the ball at the far post from a tight angle and gave Charlotte the late advantage.
“Reyna is so technical, so good at crossing,” Shinyashiki said. “I saw him in training this week, so when he gets the ball I’m just like, ‘Get in the goal frame. It will come to you.’ And he plays a perfect pass and I’m in the goal frame, I’m in the penalty area. If you want to score goals, you have to be there.”
Shinyashiki moved to Charlotte precisely for these opportunities. He played lower downfield for Colorado but was a long-time target of head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez, who highlighted the player’s efforts and his desire to “live in the box.”
“He has the quality to control the ball and make good decisions,” said Ramírez. “He has good cross ability and as a center forward the way he is he wants to live in the penalty area, arrive… I’m happy with him and I’m happy for him today… He wanted something new in his career and he chose Charlotte ahead of other big and good options in MLS.”
His move proved equally beneficial for Charlotte, who benefited from the “flexibility,” as Ramírez put it, to switch to a system that uses more attackers. The tandem of Shinyashiki and Reyna added the boost needed and made for a well-timed connection that was lacking early in the game.
New look for the starting grid
Charlotte returned to her home turf after four games played away, including a US Open Cup game midweek. Unlike previous stays at home, Charlotte failed to score early goals despite repeated opportunities. At halftime it was 0-0.
In Charlotte’s line-up, wingers McKinze Gaines and Kamil Jóźwiak started from the first whistle, marking the first time in the starting XI for designated Poland player Jóźwiak. He gave Charlotte extra chances early in the game, winning a free-kick and assisting in an attempted shot by striker Karol Świderski.
But Charlotte’s attack fell flat and ended plays and was no threat from multiple corners. Ramírez made simultaneous substitutions in the second half, with Reyna replacing Gaines and Shinyashiki replacing Jóźwiak. Defender Christian Makoun also came on for captain Christian Fuchs, who was being looked after by the coach with a possible leg injury before leaving the field.
Ramírez said midfielder Alan Franco picked up a minor injury in training, leaving the regular without a minute. He also said that Jóźwiak is still working back to his full strength after a previous ankle injury and illness but is beginning to see more minutes.
“There were different moments and phases during the game,” said Ramírez. “[Miami]knew how to press and how to be compact and they compete really, really well, making our control and play difficult.”
Kahlina makes it big
Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina again made key saves, two particularly early when Miami’s attack regained possession before the half-time whistle.
Miami defender Kieran Gibbs fired a left footed shot from the center of the box which Kahlina chested. He also fended off the attacks of Indiana Vassilev, a forward who returned to Miami’s squad on loan from Aston Villa earlier this week.
Vassilev started for the club and fired off two hard shots early in the game, one of which almost gave Miami the lead. In all, Charlotte had 14 shots to Miami’s 12, but none got past Kahlina, Charlotte’s goaltender who quickly became a linchpin for the young team.
But on Saturday it was Shinyashiki who was named man of the match for the late and necessary goal, underscoring the importance of his recent arrival.
This story was originally published May 7, 2022 5:51 p.m.