Mensah Hat Trick Leads Red Wolves To 4-2 Road Win

  • Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Chattanooga Red Wolves returned to League One action on Saturday, April 13th against Central Valley Fuego in a 4-2 victory for the visitors. The match featured a phenomenal performance and a hattrick for Ropapa Mensah, who also contributed to a goal by Lucas Coutinho. The two clubs will meet again on August 3rd in Chattanooga to close out the 2024 series. 

In a rainy start to the evening, the Red Wolves got straight to business in an aggressive start with Declan Watters grabbing a yellow card in the eighth minute of the match.
Central Valley favored possession early, but Ropapa Mensah quickly established a Chattanooga lead in the 14th minute on a breakaway chance. He continued to provide offensive prowess just four minutes later, dropping a pass backward to an approaching Lucas Coutinho, who launched the ball past former Red Wolves goalkeeper, Carlos Avilez. 

TJ Bush held strong between the pipes for the Red Wolves by making several key saves throughout the first half to maintain the Chattanooga lead. Fuego managed to break through as an open Zahir Vazquez followed on a rebound shot to find the back of the net and cut the Chattanooga lead to 2-1 just before half time. A final corner kick attempt in first half stoppage time was also stopped by a leaping Bush to hold the lead.

The second half began as Chattanooga looked to shore up their defense with Omar Gomez coming on in place of Gustavo Fernandes. The Red Wolves had an early set piece chance off of a corner kick that saw Coutinho nearly snagging his second of the night off a header. 

The fouls and yellow cards continued to amass into the second half as the seventh card was doled out to Bush in the 61st minute in addition to 15 fouls across the match for both sides. Chattanooga would not be deterred by the aggressive play, however, as Ropapa Mensah bagged his second of the night from a feed from Stefan Lukic to give the Red Wolves a 3-1 lead. 

Fuego worked to regain an offensive foothold and found the back of the net once more in the 80th minute from Qudus Lawal to cut the Red Wolves lead to 3-2; however, a penalty drawn by Chevone Marsh in the box led to a successful Ropapa Mensah penalty kick for a 4-2 lead and hattrick night for the Ghana native. 

The Chattanooga Red Wolves will play their first match at home against Northern Colorado Hailstorm on Saturday, April 20th at CHI Memorial Stadium. Fans can enjoy $2 Beer Night and the first 500 fans through the gates will receive a Red Out t-shirt courtesy of Liberty Apparel. The action returns to The Den the following week with the first match of the USL Jägermeister Cup against One Knoxville SC. Tickets for the 2024 home opener and all home matches are on sale now. 
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