The Chattanooga Football Club’s rose-colored season was ended Tuesday night in the oppressive Florida heat against Miami FC, with their championship aspirations wilted by the end of the 2-0 shutout.
While Miami dominated possession in the first half, Chattanooga briefly took the lead in the 40th minute. After Caleb Cole regained possession, the talented midfielder made a quick cut to his left, and delivered a nice pass to Alun Webb before falling to the grass.
Webb then started to bob left, then right, then left again, trying to fake out the goalkeeper. As he drew closer to his opponent, Webb made one final hard move to the left, and then shot back to the right. This impressive sequence gave Chattanooga a 1-0 lead……
…….until the referees called Webb offsides. While replays did eventually show Webb to be obviously behind the nearest defender before the pass was made, it still took the referees several minutes to make the call.
Even more oddly, after an interminable amount of time had passed, the referees gave Chattanooga a free kick from what appeared to be the spot where Cole was knocked down. But the offsides call was still upheld, causing general confusion among the Chattahooligans who were watching a stream of the match at Chattanooga Brewing Company.
The second half was a mess for CFC, as the normally flawless scoring machine looked to be stuck in the thick Florida humidity. The sparkling counterattack where Joao Costa, Alun Webb, and Zecca made threatening runs far downfield rarely materialized. And when CFC did get the rare chance at scoring, the ball never could find the net.
Miami had no trouble scoring though, as they notched their first in the 65th minute. After a long cross into the box, the ball bounced off of one Miami player to another, who converted the chip shot and put Miami FC on top.
Miami got another goal off of a penalty kick following a questionable foul on Jordan Dunstan in the 78th minute. After a long corner kick landed way outside the far post, Dunstan blasted into action and made a slide tackle on Miami’s Dylan Mares. While the tackle may or may not have been clean, the referees called it a foul in the box. A few minutes later, Ariel Martinez put home another Miami FC goal.
Chattanooga was unable to mount any sort of comeback after this second goal, and CFC’s season ended a few minutes later. The Chattanooga Football Club isn’t finished playing soccer for the year though. They start play in the Founder’s Cup in August, which is a run of games that goes until October.