A three-game unbeaten streak at home came to an end for the Chattanooga Red Wolves, who played down a man from the 58th minute on in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Union Omaha at CHI Memorial Stadium in East Ridge.
The Red Wolves, who have held a USL League One opponent scoreless just twice in 28 games this season, allowed all three of Omaha's goals in the first half.
Omaha's Steevan Dos Santos scored first in the 18th minute, and Marco Milanese, with an assist from John Scearce, made it 2-0 in the 34th minute. Chattanooga's Ryley Kraft cut that lead in half five minutes later, but the visitors scored in added time at the end of the first half, with Joseph Brito getting the goal on Luis Gil's assist to make it 3-1.
Chattanooga (6-16-6) pulled to within one in final stoppage time on Ropapa Mensah's goal despite playing with just 10 men on the field since early in the second half due to a red card. The Red Wolves held an 8-5 advantage on shots on target for the match, with both teams taking 15 shots overall.
Omaha (15-5-7, 52 points) remains second in the 12-team league standings with a month remaining in the regular season and has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, along with first-place Northern Colorado (15-5-7, 52) and third-place North Carolina (15-7-5, 50).
Chattanooga, 11th in the standings with 24 points, is one of three teams already eliminated from the hunt for the postseason, along with last-place Central Valley (5-17-5, 20) and 10th-place Richmond (6-12-10, 28). That leaves six teams still in contention for three spots: Charlotte (12-8-7, 43), Madison (11-8-8, 41), Greenville (11-9-7, 40), Knoxville (9-10-9, 36), South Georgia (10-13-5, 35) and Lexington (7-12-8, 29).
Four matches remain for Chattanooga, beginning with a trip to Kentucky to face Lexington at 7 p.m. next Saturday. The Red Wolves have back-to-back home dates against Central Valley (Sept. 30) and Greenville (Oct. 7) before closing at Northern Colorado (Oct. 14).
CFC match postponed
The Chattanooga Football Club, solidly first in the National Independent Soccer Association's nine-team standings, was set to visit the Savannah Clovers in Georgia on Saturday, but the match was "postponed due to illness," according to the schedule at Chattanooga FC's website, with the league working on a makeup date.
The match currently ahead on the schedule for CFC (12-6-1) is against Club de Lyon at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday in Daytona Beach, Florida.
CFC is also set to host Detroit at Finley Stadium on Oct. 1, visit Savannah on Oct. 7 and take on Flower City on Oct. 14 in Rochester, New York, to close the regular season with the playoffs still ahead.
Compiled by Patrick MacCoon. Contact him at [email protected].