TULSA, Okla. - Chattanooga Football Club goalkeeper Greg Hartley made three saves during penalty kicks and his team advanced past the Tulsa Athletics on a scorching Saturday night at Drillers Stadium.
With the temperature still 90 degrees during overtime, according to the National Weather Service, the game was scoreless heading into penalty kicks. CFC converted its first attempt; then Hartley made a save. That was repeated two more times for CFC to earn the victory in the National Premier Soccer League South Conference playoffs.
Chattanooga FC (7-1-3) will be back on the road against the Richmond, Va.-based RVA Football Club in the South Conference championship game next weekend. RVA defeated Jacksonville United FC 5-3 in their semifinal matchup Saturday.
CFC and RVA will be playing for the South Conference title and a spot in the NPSL championships.
Tulsa (10-1-2) came into the game undefeated, having won the South Central Division with a 10-point margin and a plus-35 advantage in goal differential. CFC, meanwhile, had an 18-4 advantage in scoring,
Both teams had a lot of good scoring chances in regulation, but neither side was able to find the back of the net in regulation. As the game wore on, Hartley and the CFC defense were frequently tested and responded each time.
CFC had the bulk of the chances late in overtime, including quality shots by Michael Brooks and Chris Ochieng, but couldn't convert until penalty kicks.
This was the second overtime game of the season for CFC, which lost on penalty kicks to the Carolina Dynamo in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup.