(Louisville City FC release)
A hat trick by the Charlotte Independence's Enzo Martinez, along with missed chances when trailing, foiled Louisville City FC's bid Saturday night for a return to first place in the USL Eastern Conference standings.
An MVP candidate in 2016, Martinez scored twice in the first half and again in the second to secure a 3-1 result at the Sportsplex at Matthews in Matthews, N.C.
Either side would have moved to the top of the table with a victory following the Charleston Battery's defeat earlier Saturday. The Independence, now on an 11-game unbeaten streak, made the most of the opportunity on an uncharacteristic night for LouCity.
"We've completely dominated the game, but we lifted off at really key moments," said coach James O'Connor. "They could've had four attacks and scored three goals. The goals were, from their standpoint, they're going to be really pleased. But from our standpoint, we really need to be better than to concede goals like that.