The stage is set.
Chattanooga FC will face Flower City Union in the 2023 National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) semi-finals at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, TN on Sunday November 5 at 5:00pm ET.
The boys in blue finished as regular season champions and received a quarter-final bye in the NISA playoffs.
With a win over Flower City, Chattanooga FC would have the opportunity to become the first professional team in the city to host a league final.
Chattanooga closed out their regular season campaign on Wednesday October 25 with a 1-0 win victory over Club de Lyon as forward Markus Naglestad and goalkeeper Jean Antoine picked up the league’s top individual honors for the season.
Sixth-seeded Flower City had to travel to California to face the third-seeded Los Angeles Force at Rio Hondo Stadium on Sunday October 29.
The side from Rochester, New York pulled off a shock result.
Flower City got off to a flying start, thanks to a quick-fire brace scored by forward Alioune Diakhate, that saw them take a 2-0 lead by the sixth minute. Los Angeles responded in the 18th minute with a goal from Francis William Avoce. However, Flower City regained their two-goal cushion before half-time after Josue Cartagena finished off a well-worked team goal.
Avoce pulled one back for Los Angeles six minutes after half-time, scoring at the near post from a corner kick. However, Flower City would have the final word on the evening when substitute forward Malik Stewart scored in stoppage time after the Force were reduced to ten men.
CFC can approach the match with confidence. In four previous meetings throughout the 2023 NISA regular season, Flower City/Salt City Union failed to score a single goal against the boys in blue.
The matches were always tight between the two, however, with Chattanooga scoring a total of four goals across the four games.
In the team’s most recent encounter, CFC clinched their regular season title at Flower City with a 2-0 win thanks to second-half goals from 2023 NISA Golden Boot winner Markus Naglestad and midfielder Luis Garcia Sosa.
April 22: CFC 1-0 FCU, Dixon 70’
May 20: FCU 0-1 CFC, Naglestad 44’
Aug 19: CFC 0-0 SCU
Oct 14: FCU 0-2 CFC, Naglestad 50’, Garcia Sosa 75’
“In the playoffs there is no next day. It’s going to come down to one, two or three plays that make the difference, and we have to be prepared for that. We want to be disciplined, ruthless and detail-oriented in what we do and how we go, so that’s the focus from here until November 5th.” - Rod Underwood, Chattanooga FC head coach and sporting director
Fans can now purchase tickets for the 2023 NISA semi-final at ChattanoogaFC.com/TICKETS.