Chattanooga FC picked up a big 4-1 win over Charlotte FC MLS NEXT Pro in an exhibition match Saturday night at Finley Stadium. The fireworks started early on fan appreciation night as first half goals from Chris Bermudez (2), Roddy Green, and Juan Hernandez sealed the win.
The boys in blue were in fine form entering the match, having just clinched a first-round playoff bye with a 2-1 win over Albion San Diego in the midweek.
It was another fast-scoring night in Chattanooga as the boys in blue were already on the board within two minutes.
Luke Ferreira was taken down in the box after some nifty footwork, and Chris Bermudez had the honors of converting the penalty to put Chattanooga up 1-0 in the 2nd minute.
They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, but Bermudez certainly does. Dalton’s Damian Rodriguez was pulled back in the penalty area to earn a penalty, and Bermudez converted his second spot kick of the night in the 10th minute to put the boys in blue 2-0 ahead.
CFC continued to bombard the Charlotte box with chance after chance. They were hungry for a goal from open play, which they finally found in the 26th minute. A fine move from Chattanooga culminated with a low cross from Tate Robertson finding Green, who gave the keeper no chance as he hit home with power to reach a 3-0 lead.
Club legend Juan Hernandez got in on the fun in the 44th minute. After a mazy run into the box, Hernandez hit a low shot that the keeper and defender on the line were powerless to stop. The beautiful goal put Chattanooga up 4-1 at the half.
With the game all but decided, Chattanooga slowed down the pace of the game in the second half. With less impetuous in the press, Chattanooga allowed Charlotte to get a few looks at goal. Alec Redington was called into action on several occasions. He was only beat once, in the 78th minute, as a failed CFC clearance gave Charlotte a clear chance to score and bring the game to 4-1.
Former Walker Valley High School standout Hugo Martinez earned his first minutes late in the second half as well as former Dalton High School star Fabian Rodriguez.
Juan Hernandez earned the fans’ vote as man of the match after playing ninety minutes of great football. His skill was on evident display when he scored, and he deputized the midfield with authority throughout the match.
Chattanooga FC has now played matches against a team from every professional league in the U.S. this season, but it’s a return to league action next as the boys in blue head north to visit the Michigan Stars on Sunday, October 15th.
The next home game will be Sunday, October 30 at 5:00 p.m. for the 2022 NISA Semifinal. Tickets are on sale now at CFCTIX.com.