Bender and Jones keep Charlotte in touch as Nashville settle for draw

Charlotte FC gained an important three points in the MLS on Saturday, earning a 2-0 win at home to New York RB.

Ben Bender and Derrick Jones scored in respective periods of injury time to move Charlotte within the Eastern Conference's playoff spots.

The home side needed a slice of fortune to take the lead in the fourth minute of first-half injury time, despite dominating possession in the opening half.

Doing well to bring Christian Ortiz's overhit pass under control, Bender's shot from the edge of the penalty deflected off Thomas Edwards and in, wrong-footing Carlos Coronel in the NYRB goal.

Derrick Jones doubled the margin in the closing stages with a relatively simple tap-in, moving Charlotte to sixth in the Eastern Conference, four points from NYRB in fourth.

Nashville remained in sixth in the Western Conference meanwhile, playing out a 0-0 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Good chances fell to Hany Mukhtar and CJ Sapong but the home side were denied by James Marcinkowski, who had a stellar performance in the Earthquakes' goal.

The draw puts Nashville on 23 points, six points from Western Conference-leading Los Angeles FC.