ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Chattanooga Football Club entered Saturday's home match against Georgia Revolution FC looking for its first National Premier Soccer League victory of the season.

CFC is still looking.

Revolution wing Jumar Oakley's hat trick lifted his team to a 3-2 win in front of 2,783 at Finley Stadium as Georgia earned its first victory of the season and moved to 1-2-1 in league play. CFC is 0-1-1 in the NPSL.

"We might have needed to be on the wrong end of a result like this," CFC coach Bill Elliott said after the match. "Now we'll see what we're made of, and we'll see who steps up and takes responsibility. We are a collection of very good players in this league, and we played like that. We played like a bunch of individuals.

"Until we start playing more cohesively and more like a team, I don't see the results changing."

Oakley gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute of play, but CFC appeared to have righted the ship with goals by Joao Costa in the 25th minute and by Daniel Valenciano in stoppage time for a 2-1 lead at halftime.

"In the first half we go up 2-1, and then, I don't know, but we got too relaxed," Valenciano said "In the NPSL, no matter who the other team is, you can't relax because they're going to punish you."

The Revolution kept up the pressure in the second half, forcing CFC to scramble on defense and goalkeeper Philip D'Amico to make some big saves. Eventually it was too much, though, with the 21-year-old Oakley tying the game in the 74th minute and scoring the winner in the 79th.

"I was not prepared to have a night like this; I'm not going to lie," Oakley said "This is a really big win. This is our first win, so now it's time for us to bounce back. And this gives us a lot of confidence to bounce back, so it's a big win."

Elliott said CFC struggled to keep pace with its upset-hungry opponent.

"Credit to them; they were organized," he said. "They had a whole lot of speed up front, and we really struggled to deal with it. They had us on our heels. Our keeper came up with a few big saves, or they would have come up with the goals earlier. We've got to figure out what we can do to solve these problems so we don't continue to have these problems."

CFC hosts another big NPSL match next Saturday against Inter Nashville FC. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Elliott's team will try to fix its problems and return to the form shown while going 3-2 in exhibition play, including an impressive 4-3 loss to Real Betis of the Spanish first division La Liga last weekend.

"Exhibition games are great, but they're not a substitute for league play," the coach said. "I think we have an experienced and talented enough group that we can grow out of this and become something much better, but we'll see. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, that's for sure."

Contact Jim Tanner at JFTanner@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JFTanner.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT