ATLANTA — The last time Charlotte FC was up against its I-85 rival Atlanta United this season, Charlotte was shut out 3-0 by the visiting team at Bank of America Stadium.
This time, the black and blue hit back at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the ATL. And they started early on yet another pattern of revenge against their rivals.
Justin Meram, the seasoned striker who is still a new addition to the Charlotte FC roster, got the scoring started early, just 18 minutes in and with an assist from Ashley Westwood. Atlanta United didn't have an answer for the remainder of the first half, meaning Charlotte led 1-0 at 45 minutes in.
After halftime, Charlotte FC was awarded a penalty after a Video Assistant Referee review. Just two minutes later, Atlanta was down a player with a red card handed to defender Andrew Gutman. Karol Swiderski was then able to find the net on a penalty kick 52 minutes into the match.
Meram once again found the net, with an assist this time from Kamil Jozwiak. This would be Charlotte's third and final goal of the night.
It would take nearly 30 minutes for Atlanta to finally muster a goal from defender Juan Jose Sanchez Purata, assisted by Thiago Almada. It would also be Atlanta's only goal of the match; as nine minutes of stoppage time drew on, Charlotte's rivals down the highway couldn't find the net again.
Final score: Charlotte FC - 3, Atlanta United - 1.
Charlotte and Atlanta are now all tied up with history against each other. Atlanta has two wins against the black and blue, while Charlotte FC now has two to match. Charlotte first fell to Atlanta in the 2022 season, only to get revenge later that year. Charlotte again fell to Atlanta back in March 2023, meaning the pattern of vengeance continued on Saturday.
Charlotte is back home at Bank of America Stadium for the next match against Chicago Fire FC on May 17, 2023. Historically, both teams have a win against each other and with identical scores in the 2022 season. Charlotte FC first fell 3-2 to Chicago at home in August 2022 but got a poetic road win with the same score more than a month later.