In order to remain unbeaten, the Chattanooga Football Club had to put together some of its best combinations from close range this season.
Chattanooga FC's streak reached nine matches without a loss Saturday, thanks to a second-half comeback for a 2-1 road win over the Maryland Bobcats. The streak is CFC's longest of its professional era, which began in 2020 with the club's move to the National Independent Soccer Association.
Mutaya Mwape's creativity sparked the comeback. The first-year CFC forward dished a pass near the top of the penalty arc and then cut back to the right side, where he got the ball and proceeded to find Markus Naglestad parked close in to hammer a goal past the keeper in the 66th minute.
Mwape then delivered the winning goal in the 69th minute as he sneakily found a wide-open spot on the right side of the box, where Luis Garcia-Sosa found him to send in a score to the far left side of the net.
CFC (7-0-2) now has 23 points in the standings, which leads NISA by a long shot. Maryland (4-2-0) remains second with 12 points, while the Michigan Stars (3-0-2) are third with 11 and Albion San Diego (3-1-3) is fourth with eight.
Maryland's goal in the 57th minute off a set piece was just the second goal allowed by CFC in league play this year.
CFC will take a break from its NISA schedule when it hosts Pumas Premier from Paducah, Kentucky, at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday at Finley Stadium. It will be the first testimonial match in the Chattanooga club's history, and the honored player will be captain Juan Hernandez as he suits up for one final game for CFC — he's the all-time leader in assists and appeared in 126 matches in eight seasons — against a club he coached for from 2014-16.
Compiled by Patrick MacCoon. Contact him at email@example.com.