After beginning play in March against Guatemalan powerhouse Comunicaciones FC, the Chattanooga Football Club ended their season with a 2-0 win against the Milwaukee Torrent in October, thanks in large part to Juan Hernadez.
As had become something of a tradition, CFC played under cloudy skies and in a steady rain. Donning all-white jerseys, Chattanooga struggled to score early in the game. In the 24th minute, CFC got a nice cross into the box, but the recipient was unable to get handle on it.
A few minutes later, Alun Webb got a good look at the woodwork on counterattack, but his header went wide. Webb tumbled into the net, while the Milwaukee goalie went head first into the woodwork.
Despite being unable to score, CFC controlled the pace of play, and consistently threatened Milwaukee. After a 34th minute throw-in, Juan Sanchez got his right foot on the ball, and looped a kick just wide left of the woodwork. In the 36th, Webb ripped down the sideline on a counterattack, and blooped in a cross to Joao Costa, who barely missed his mark.
In the 56th, Juan Sanchez rolled along on the Fastbreak, ripping down the left sideline before he dropped it off to Costa. After a nifty crossover move, Costa made enough space to get an attempt away. But just like all of Chattanooga’s first-half strikes, this one went wide of the goal.
In the 58th minute, goalkeeper Phil D’Amico was faced with every goalkeeper’s worst nightmare. He faced a furious Milwaukee counterattack, one where the forward had a clear shot at scoring. D’Amico stymied the first shot, and then in spectacular fashion, scrambled to his feet and blocked the second one too from at least 15 yards in front of the goal.
In the 61st minute, Cameron Woodfin found himself in the exact same position, only in the opposite role. With the keeper coming out to meet him and no one else to stop the shot, Woodfin tried to chip the ball over the keeper. Unfortunately for CFC, Woodfin’s shot had a little too much finesse on it, and it went errant.
Juan Hernandez finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the 69th minute with a nice low shot from distance. After Gabi Torres gathered in a high pop-up, he dished it off to Chattanooga’s captain. From there, Hernandez booted a diagonal shot from right to left straight past the keeper. In the 81st, Hernandez got the rebound after a failed counterattack, lined up his shot, and rattled in the dagger for CFC.
While Hernandez’s game-winning plays were unsurprising for the CFC fans who braved the elements, most parts of the match were novel concepts. As coach Peter Fuller promised last week, CFC tinkered with lineups and formations throughout the match, playing various players in new roles. Toward the end of the game, defender Everson Lima was moved all the way up to forward, where the big-bodied Brazilian tried his hand (or foot) at scoring goals, rather than preventing them.
In the 85th minute, the Torrent got a decent look at the goal, but their shot doinked harmlessly off the left crossbar. As the steady rain morphed into a solid downpour, Chattanooga locked down on their Wisconsinite counterparts, and closed out the shutout. Chattanooga finishes their season 16-10-6 in all competitions during 2019.