History! Daniel Rios 4-goal game breaks record, gives Charlotte FC win over Philadelphia

Daniel Rios made one last run in extra time — slithering through the back side of the Philadelphia defense like he had all game — and McKinze Gaines found him.

And then Bank of America Stadium went into a frenzy.

Rios took that Gaines pass and knocked in his fourth goal in the first minute of extra time — and that cemented a 4-0 win over MLS giant Philadelphia Union and subsequently sent a resounding statement to the rest of the league ... that this Queen City team won’t die.

Rios’s four goals is the most in a single game in Charlotte FC’s brief history. He scored in the 24th minute, in the 54th, in the 72nd (on a penalty kick) and then in extra time.

Pablo Sisniega made his first start for Charlotte after Kristijan Kahlina was deemed out just before the match with a finger injury and subsequently earned his first clean sheet.

The win was big for the home team beyond the history that was made: It kept the team in the playoff hunt. Charlotte FC would’ve been eliminated from MLS playoff contention with a loss on Saturday.

See below for real-time updates that were passed along throughout Saturday’s contest.

What was the Charlotte FC vs. Philadelphia Union score?

Charlotte FC 4 — Philadelphia Union 0, Final

Attendance: 43,860

Live MLS updates from Charlotte

90+ minute: What is going on?! Daniel Rios again! That’s four on the magical night. Assisting on the play was McKinze Gaines.

71st minute: Goal! Daniel Rios again! The forward scores off a penalty kick after a Nuno Santos strike nails Kai Wagner’s hand in the box. (Rios now has a hat trick — the first hat trick in Charlotte FC history.)

That’s not all the bad news for Philly: Wagner was subsequently given a yellow — his second of the game (so a red) — for denying a scoring opportunity. Philadelphia will play the rest of the way with 10 players.

65th minute: Brandt Bronico gets subbed off for Nuno Santos. Bronico leaves the game having given CLTFC a strong midfield presence. (He also notched the team’s only yellow card earlier in the second half.)

53rd minute: Looks like Daniel Rios wanted to run it back. The forward received a pass from Kamil Jozwiak (same guy who assisted on Rios’ first goal), danced around Philadelphia midfielder Leon Flach — and struck a right-footed shot into the net. Goal. That’s his second score of the night. CLTFC leads Philadelphia, 2-0.

HALF: Charlotte FC leads MLS giant Philadelphia Union, 1-0, at home, thanks to a Daniel Rios goal in the 24th minute. Some halftime stats...

  • Possession: CLTFC 46.6%; Philly 53.6%

  • Shots: CLTFC 2; Philly 6

  • Shots on goal: CLTFC 1; Philly 1

  • Corners: CLTFC 3; Philly 1

  • Fouls: CLTFC 8; Philly 12

43rd minute: A Brandt Bronico header off (another) Kerwin Vargas cross sails just above the cross bar. Great opportunity.

33rd minute: GK Pablo Sisniega, usually Kristijan Kahlina’s understudy, notched his first save of the year off a screaming shot by a Philadelphia midfielder. He’ll have to do a lot of that today. Philadelphia has three players who’ve scored more than CLTFC leading goal-scorer Karol Swiderski — Daniel Gazdag (19 goals), Julian Carranza (14) and Mikael Uhre (12).

24th minute: Charlotte FC goal! Karol Swiderski touches the ball to Kamil Jozwiak on the left, who then sends a screaming pass through the Philadelphia defense — and Daniel Rios one-touches it in. CLTFC takes a 1-0 lead over the top team in the MLS Eastern Conference. (Rios also scored in Charlotte’s last home match, which ended in a 1-0 CLTFC victory over New York City FC.)

20th minute: Goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega collects the ball and tells his team to calm down. A mistake on the back line forces Adilson Malanda to make a dangerous tackle just outside the 18-yard-box. CLTFC maintains possession and keeps the game scoreless.

7th minute: Charlotte FC forward Kamil Jozwiak stays down on the field after knocking his head against a Philadelphia defender’s shoulder in the box. The medical staff treats him. After a few minutes, though, Jozwiak sprints to the sideline and then re-enters the game. What prompted that heading opportunity? Kerwin Vargas sent in a beautiful cross from the right side. Vargas also sent in a dangerous cross on a corner kick earlier in the half. CLTFC isn’t shying away from Saturday’s moment.

5:34 p.m.: Kristijan Kahlina, Charlotte’s steely goalkeeper, sustained a finger injury and is out for this evening’s match. That’s a huge blow for CLTFC, a team that realistically needs three points (a win) to maintain MLS playoff hopes. Kahlina was originally announced as today’s starter. His scratch was announced just minutes prior to kickoff.

Charlotte FC goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina (1) makes a stop against Orlando City in the second half in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.
Charlotte FC goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina (1) makes a stop against Orlando City in the second half in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.

5:30 p.m.: Team owner David Tepper makes an appearance on the jumbotron and lauds the fans for a fantastic inaugural season. “You brought the party,” he says. The owner also hung out with fans at certain pre-match tailgates and also sat atop the “throne” in front of the supporters section right before team introductions were made.

5:26 p.m.: Starting 11 for Charlotte FC: Pablo Sisniega (GK); Anton Walkes, Nathan Byrne, Adilson Malanda, Harrison Afful, Brandt Bronico, Derrick Jones, Kamil Jozwiak, Karol Swiderski (captain), Daniel Rios, Kerwin Vargas. Philadelphia Union starting 11: Andre Blake (GK, league leader in clean sheets), Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel, Kai Wagner, Daniel Gazdag, Jose Martinez, Jack McGlynn, Leon Flach, Mikael Uhre, Julian Carranza.

5:22 p.m.: For those watching at home or in the stadium wondering why there are so many lines on the pitch today: Tepper Sports and Entertainment, just like last month, had Bank of America Stadium’s turf painted with NFL and MLS lines ahead of time in case of inclement weather Saturday night. Read up on why here.

4:22 p.m.: Want a rundown of all the story lines that are converging at Bank of America Stadium today? Check out The Observer’s preview posted online Friday afternoon. It explains why fan-favorite and veteran defender Christian Fuchs isn’t playing today, why Karol Swiderski has been in the international news a lot lately, why interim head coach Christian Lattanzio might have his “interim” label removed soon, and more.

4 p.m.: Charlotte has seen overcast skies but no rain and temperatures in the 60s all Saturday. The remnants of Hurricane Ian have largely dissipated by now, as local forecasts predicted they would. Today’s kickoff is not expected to be delayed.