Almost 3,000 fans filed into Finley Stadium to watch Chattanooga Football Club take on visiting Atlanta Football Club. Chattanooga FC came into the game without a loss, and that’s how it remained with the two teams tying, 1-1.
Chattanooga FC started the game by peppering the Atlanta goal, and until Luis Salazar scored in the 22nd minute. The play started near midfield with Chris Ochieng laying off a great ball to Fynn Glover who one-timed a ball through the Atlanta defense to Salazar. Salazar took a perfect touch around the goalie and put the ball into the empty Atlanta net.
The remainder of the first half was back and forth with both teams creating good chances to score. Atlanta’s best chance came in the 32nd minute when Chattanooga goalie, Richard Masters, was beaten by a shot, only to be cleared off the line by defender Mac Gambill.
Coming out of the locker room at the beginning of the second half, Chattanooga FC relentlessly attacked the Atlanta FC goal, but nothing positive came of it. “We really should have put a couple goals away early in the second half,” said Jimmy Weekley, Assistant Coach for Chattanooga FC. “That would have changed the dynamic of the game, but we just couldn’t find the final touch on goal.”
Going against the flow of play, an Atlanta FC forward sliced through the Chattanooga midfield and defense for a very nice goal in the 63rd minute.
Chattanooga FC brought in a host of subs around the 70th minute, which really changed the tempo and energy on the field. Sasha Viatrov and Phil Beene went in as outside midfielders and immediately began to create more chances. Dalton native, Irvin Espinal, also had numerous scoring chances, but was unable to connect for the go-ahead goal.
“Overall, we feel like we did not play as well as we know we can,” say Chattanooga defender Russell Courtney. “We could have put a few more away and we could also have played stronger defense. We’ve got some work to do, but it’s still nice to come away with the tie.”
Next Saturday, Chattanooga FC travels to Huntsville to play Rocket City United, the reigning champions of the Southeastern Conference. The next home match will be on July 4th at 7PM.
For more information, visit www.chattanoogafc.com