The Red Wolves welcomed Forward Madison FC to CHI Memorial Stadium Saturday night in a match that had huge early season implications for both sides. Carl Craig and Forward Madison looked to vault themselves into fifth place with a rare road victory. On the other bench, Manager Jimmy Obleda and the Red Wolves looked to remain unbeaten at home, with a win vaulting themselves to the top of the USL League One Standings.
The match started off with high intensity and energy levels from both sides, with Forward Madison’s Jake Keegan attempting to chip Tim Trilk in goal, but he did well to tip over the bar. However, just five minutes later, the Red Wolves would respond with a brilliantly taken goal. Jackson Dietrich laid the ball inside to Jose Carrera-Garcia who slammed it past Phil Breno to give the Red Wolves an early 1-0 lead. After a couple of fantastic chances created, notably a gilt-edge opportunity for Jonathan Esparza that was saved well from close range, Forward Madison changed the game. The 34th minute goal came from a cross on the left side from Derek Gebhard, who found the head of Noah Fuson to level the score at 1-1.
The Red Wolves received several yellow cards and could not get comfortable on the ball. The second half would dwindle out with the score level at 1-1 heading into an all-important second half.
The second half started with intent from the Red Wolves as Manager Obleda looked to super subs Marky Hernandez and Juan Galindrez to change the game. Marky made a huge impact and changed the game in the attacking third where he was lively and played several quality crosses into the box. His biggest chance came in the 57th minute from a Jose Carrera-Garcia free kick, but his close-range effort was blocked to deny the Red Wolves a certain goal.
Mentzingen and Pineda would come on as well to change the game, but a resolute Forward Madison backline kept the home side at bay. In the 80th minute, the Red Wolves seemed to have found the winner from Jonathan Ricketts, but the goal was ruled out questionably for an offside decision. Minutes later, Tim Trilk would make a brilliant double save to deny Forward Madison their late winner. Jason Ramos also came up big for the home side in the 89th minute, diving in for a block that saved a certain goal.
After a series of questionable refereeing decisions, a frustrated Red Wolves side was held to yet another draw. Now six draws out of their last seven matches, Obleda’s men will be looking to turn the tide next time out against North Carolina FC.
The Red Wolves look to turn 1 point into 3 points on August 10th at North Carolina FC, with kickoff
being at 7 p.m. EST.