CFC blasts FC Tulsa

CFC blasts FC Tulsa

Large Finley Stadium crowd cheers 5-0 victory on Fourth of July

July 5th, 2010 by Gene Henley in Sports

Staff photo by Allison Kwesell / Chattanooga Times Free Press - Chattanooga Football Club's Chris Ochieng jumps over Tulsa Football Club's Brandon Waller after shooting the ball in the first half at Finley Stadium Sunday.

Staff photo by Allison Kwesell / Chattanooga Times...

Late in the first half of his team's matchup against FC Tulsa Sunday evening, Chattanooga FC's Fynn Glover got tangled up with Tulsa's Abed Elkour while the two were jockeying for a ball, resulting in a foul on Elkour.

Glover looked as though he had taken exception to the play itself, but instead chose to smile and give Elkour a hug before running back on offense.

It was one of those games where there wasn't much to get upset about.

Chattanooga started the fireworks early, getting first-half goals from Andy Stewart and Chris Ochieng and cruising to a 5-0 victory at Finley Stadium in front of an enthusiastic Fourth of July crowd of 3,415.

"He and I had battled all game long, but we had a respectful relationship of each other," Glover said. "It's all in fun. When something like that happens, I always at least give them a pat on the back -- it calms things down.

"It was nothing menacing -- very friendly."

With the win, Chattanooga improves to 4-0-2 in the SouthEast Division of the National Premier Soccer League. Coupled with Tulsa tying Rocket City Saturday night, Chattanooga now holds a five-point lead over Rocket City in the NPSL standings, with two more regular-season games to go. They travel to Birmingham Saturday to face Pumas FC before their home finale on July 17 against Rocket City.

"This was a huge win," Glover said. "It keeps us in control of our own destiny, and gives us more confidence."

Stewart got Chattanooga on the board in the 10th minute, doing a sort of bicycle kick and firing the ball into the top right corner of the net, assisted by a Russell Courtney header. Ochieng added his goal eight minutes later, assisted by Luis Salazar.

"We really pressed them," Chattanooga FC coach Brian Crossman said. "We never let them get comfortable offensively. Luis and Chris really pressured the defense, which caused some turnovers in the back and provided good opportunities."

Drew Courtney had a goal on a rebound in the second half, then after Crossman emptied his bench, Irvin Espinal and Robbie Hill had goals in the final 11 minutes.

Record setters

Chattanooga FC set a pair of new club records Sunday. The five goals scored were the most by the team in their two-year history, all scored in front of the largest CFC home crowd ever.

"That's partially due to the guys in the community," Crossman said of the attendance record. "They've built relationships with people, and now these people want to come out and watch us play good soccer."