Jesters tie Chattanooga FC with two 'soft' late goals

Jesters tie Chattanooga FC with two 'soft' late goals

May 26th, 2018 by Gene Henley in Sports - Professional

For the Chattanooga Football Club, Saturday provided the draw that felt a lot more like a loss.

Up two goals with just over 10 minutes remaining against the New Orleans Jesters, the hosts surrendered a pair of "soft" scores, resulting in a 2-all draw at Finley Stadium.

With CFC's next five National Premier Soccer League matches on the road, missing out on an available three points wasn't pleasing to coach Bill Elliott.

"Those are valuable points we let slip away," Elliott said. "We were in a great position; we have to do better in those situations."

CFC wasted no time getting on the board, with Juan Hernandez sliding a pass to Felipe Oliveira, who made a move to the middle and fired a low shot past the keeper. The home team dominated large portions of the match, with the defense turning away some dangerous opportunities and the midfield creating several chances for the forwards.

That lead was doubled in the 79th minute, when on a counter with New Orleans coach Kenny Farrell feverishly pointing to his defenders to stop him, Joao Costa sprinted down the left sideline and crossed the ball into veteran Luke Winter, who basically had to tap the ball into the net for the two-goal advantage.

CFC (1-0-2) seemed on its way to the win until Oliver Roberts struck a shot that went through goalkeeper Tom Halsall's mitts, cutting the lead in half. Even then, the team was in good position until the final moments, when Halsall was unable to cleanly corral a shot and the Jesters' Tom Peers was there to tap it in for the equalizer.

"To concede two soft goals like that late in the game, in a game that was well in hand and looking more likely going three or four for us than them pulling it back, was disappointing," Elliott said.

The road stretch starts Wednesday in Knoxville against the Emerald Force Soccer Club. After that are visits to Asheville City, Greenville (South Carolina), Inter Nashville and New Orleans before the next home match June 20 against the Atlanta Silverbacks.

"We played really well and dominated most of the match," Elliott said. "We had a couple of bad moments there at the end. We've got to continue to play like we did for the majority of the match, and I think we'll be fine."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.