Locked in a draw with the Greenville Triumph SC for the fourth time in five matches after a full 90 minutes, the Chattanooga Red Wolves appeared close to earning a spot in the USL League One title game.
Red Wolves striker Juan Galindrez fired a shot off the keeper's hands in the 92nd minute of Saturday's semifinal at Legacy Early College in South Carolina. Two minutes later, in the first of two 15-minute periods for overtime, Chattanooga's Marky Hernandez evaded defenders for a cross into Greenville's box that was knocked out for a corner kick.
Ultimately, though, reigning league champion Greenville settled down and secured a 2-0 victory, ending a breakthrough season for the third-seeded Red Wolves at 12-7-11.
Andrew Booth's left-footed touch pass from the top left portion of the box found Jesus Ibarra at the top of the penalty arc, where he sent a missile off the outstretched Chattanooga keeper's hands into the back net in the 97th minute. Marios Lomis added the second goal for second-seeded Greenville (13-7-9) in the 110th.
Greenville moves on to next Saturday's title match at top-seeded Union Omaha (15-5-9), the 2020 runner-up and a 6-1 winner against fourth-seeded FC Tuscon (12-11-7) in the other semifinal.
Greenville and Omaha had byes in the opening round of the six-team bracket.