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Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / Chattanooga Red Wolves attacker Ricky Ruiz made key plays on both sides of the field in Saturday's USL League One quarterfinal at home against North Texas SC.

Limping off the field after a celebratory postgame fireworks show, Chattanooga Red Wolves striker Juan Galindrez couldn't help but smile.

In the first USL League One playoff match in club history, Galindrez provided a sensational goal in the 113th minute to defeat sixth-seeded North Texas SC 2-1 in a quarterfinal at CHI Memorial Stadium in East Ridge.

Perhaps the third-seeded Red Wolves' most memorable moment in their three-year history came with seven minutes left in the second and final 15-minute overtime period. Despite falling to the ground in the goal area, Galindrez secured the ball between his legs and was able to roll over and knock in the score just under the diving keeper.

Galindrez ripped off his jersey and was followed by his teammates to the sideline, where he celebrated with a salsa dance as red smoke filled the air.

"I was on the floor and tried to work myself back up," Galindrez said. "Luckily I was holding the ball very well, and as soon as I got my butt off the ground I was able to tap it in. And that was it."

While Galindrez's availability for next Saturday's USL League One road semifinal against the second-seeded Greenville Triumph SC (12-7-9) is in the air, this win meant everything to him and many others around the Red Wolves, who improved to 12-6-11.

"I am very happy for the town, city and all the people that support us all the time," said Galindrez, who scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season. "We came through late again in a crazy match. I am happy for all of our guys. For many it was was their first professional playoff match. I am very excited to give a smile to the city and to my family and all of us."

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Chattanooga Red Wolves vs. North Texas SC on Nov. 6, 2021

Chattanooga took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute as local standout Jonathan Ricketts fired in a dangerous cross from the left sideline that struck off a backline defender past the North Texas keeper. The look was helped set up by the speedy Ricky Ruiz, who had stolen the ball seconds earlier.

In the first overtime, Ricketts created great chances for his teammates in front of the goal. He also crashed into the wall behind the goal in the second half in an all-out effort.

North Texas (11-8-10) drew a red card in the 27th minute but was able to tie in the 67th as Bernard Kamungo flashed past a defender and slid in for the equalizer.

Sebastian Capozucchi was a star for the Red Wolves' defense as he blocked several shots with his body and head, while keeper Tim Trilk made back-to-back saves in the 63rd and 64th minutes.

"From the beginning of the year, we set up a group to make it all the way to the playoffs and hopefully win the championship," Capozucchi said. "Today we took another big step and are ready for the semifinals. We are going to fight with everything we've got."

The Red Wolves lost Rey Ortiz in the first overtime to a red card. Ortiz has filled in nicely for standout Mark Hernandez, who has been out due to an injury.

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

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