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"There's Nothing Positive About This" - Reaction From Hartford Athletic's Late Loss to Charleston
Hartford assistant coach Omid Namazi speaks following Hartford's late collapse in a 4-3 loss to Charleston on Saturday.
Saturday night was yet another heartbreaking loss for a Hartford Athletic, who let two goals slip in the final three minutes to lose a 3-2 lead and walk away empty-handed for the second straight home game.
According to Hartford assistant coach Omid Namazi, a major shift in the balance in an otherwise good performance came when Antoine Hoppenot received a second yellow just minutes into the second half, forcing to Hartford to play down a man for the majority of the half. Hartford would pick up five total yellow cards on the night, including one issued to Tab Ramos, to bring their league-leading total to a staggering 51. Despite that, Hoppenot’s red card was the first such dismissal for Hartford this season.
“That’s what we really need, we need a win, and tonight was a good chance to get that win,” Namazi said after the match. “Unfortunately we took a red card. We started the game with the right mentality, we were up 3-1, I thought we played a good game up until then. The red care really hurt us, and we weren't able to handle that.”
Although Hartford had their fair share of attacking opportunities throughout the first half, they would end the game with only 28% possession, being outshot 26-6 and only managing a single shot to Charleston’s 13 in the second 45.
“From the time we went down a man and took a red card, Charleston really pushed the game into our half and was able to take advantage of their chances.”
To Namazi, the problem remains the same as it has been all season: Hartford simply needs to defend better. They have allowed 32 goals on the year, the most in the USL Championship by an eight-goal margin, with 17 of those goals coming in the second half.
“We just gotta be better defensively,” Namazi said. “we gotta be more compact and not allow teams to penetrate us so easily, obviously being a man down doesn’t help us, but being up 3-1, we should’ve done better…We’ve swapped players, we’ve changed the lineup here and there, the issue really is [that] we give up too many goals, and it’s been the story all season.”
At the end of the day, Hartford remains in dead last in the USL Championship on just two wins and 10 points, taking only one point out of the last four matches, three of which Hartford played in front of the home fans.
“It’s a tough loss, you can’t put any other words to it,” Namazi said. “It’s just hard to be 3-1 up and lose the game 4-3 right at the end. There’s nothing positive about this, we just have to go back to the drawing board and make sure defensively, we get better and hopefully look for the next game, look for the next opportunity to put a result together and start our season again.”