Josue Soto’s first goal of the season arrived late on as the Red Wolves took victory against Tormenta FC at Erk Russell Park.
Tormenta FC had a pair of efforts saved in the early going as both Marco Micaletto and Shinya Kadono tried to test Red Wolves goalkeeper Alex Mangels, only for the Chattanooga goalkeeper to be up to the task.
Kadono had a big chance to put the hosts ahead in the 31st minute as he was played in behind the Chattanooga defense, but his initial shot was denied by Mangels and he couldn’t take advantage of the rebound.
The Red Wolves’ first serious chance arrived six minutes before halftime as Vangjel Zguro let fly from a tight angle on the left to force a diving save from South Georgia goalkeeper Pablo Jara.
Chattanooga also went close through Juan Mare a couple of minutes later, but under pressure his shot from close in on the right edge of the six-yard area was turned aside by Jara.
The visitor struck 12 minutes into the second half, however, as Sito Seoane eluded a defender well 25 yards from goal and unleashed a powerful shot that Jara got a hand to but couldn’t keep from finding the right corner of the net.
South Georgia leveled in the 67th minute as Lucas Coutinho created space in the left side of the penalty area after a pass by Mikey Rowe, cutting in onto his right foot before he sent a low shot into the right corner of the net.
Tormenta FC was then awarded a penalty kick three minutes later as Chattanooga’s Tony Walls was originally ruled to have blocked Conner Antley’s shot with his hand. After consulting with his Assistant Referee, however, it was determined the shot had deflected off Walls’ head, as the call was changed to a corner kick.
Both Coutinho and Rowe almost put Tormenta FC ahead inside the final 15 minutes from free kicks that each produced good saves by Mangels to keep the game level.
Those saves proved crucial with five minutes to go as Chattanooga’s Josue Soto found space on the right side of the penalty area and curled a low shot into the far corner of the net to earn his side a big road victory.
The Richmond Kickers secured their third consecutive win and broke Forward Madison FC’s three-game winning streak as Daniel Jackson scored the only goal at Breese Stevens Field.
Richmond was the first side to threaten in the eighth minute when a low cross from the right by Joe Gallardo was redirected at the near post by Dennis Chin but comfortably saved by Madison goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.
Gallardo almost gave the visitors the lead 11 minutes later when he split a pair of defenders on a powerful run but rang his shot to the top-right corner off the post. The rebound was sent back across goal by Matt Bolduc, but he was unable to find a teammate.
Madison also hit the woodwork in the 28th minute when a cross from the right by Christian Diaz was met first time by Oliver White at the near post but hit the right post and deflected wide.
The Flamingos thought they had taken the lead four minutes into the second half, but J.C. Banks’ free kick only rippled the outside of the net after flashing wide of the right post.
The Kickers instead took the lead with 21 minutes to go as Jackson just did enough to round St. Clair and finish past a trailing defender from the left side of the penalty area.
Madison looked to hit back in the final 10 minutes as it looked to deliver from the flanks, and Eric Leonard attempted spectacular bicycle kick in the third minute of stoppage time that just misfired.
The Kickers held firm for their third consecutive victory, however, to keep their slim postseason hopes alive.
North Texas rallied to earn a point to edge two points clear at the top of the League One standings after ending all square with FC Tucson at Toyota Stadium.
Tucson had chances early, with the first coming to Jamael Cox in the ninth minute as he fired just wide of the right post from 25 yards.
Devyn Jambga then forced a good save from North Texas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in the 17th minute on a first-time finish at the near post off Cox’s cross from the right, and two minutes later was denied again on a low shot to the left corner from just inside the penalty area.
FCT’s Jordan Jones also had a big opportunity in the 27th minute with a clear look on goal, but his shot was too close to Maurer and the NTSC goalkeeper parried the shot away.
North Texas’ firs big chance arrived on the half-hour mark as Ricardo Pepi made a good angled run onto a ball over the top into the right side of the penalty area, and his low shot to the left corner was saved by Tucson goalkeeper Carlos Merancio Valdez.
Merancio then recovered quickly to deny Cristian Colman on the follow-up to complete an excellent double-save.
Tucson took the lead in the final minute of the first half as Cox’s corner kick from the left found Jones cutting the near post and he headed into the right corner of the net.
North Texas almost hit back within a minute of the second half kickoff as a sweeping cross from the right by Jorge Almaguer found Pepi at the far post, but again Merancio Valdez was equal to the shot as he made the save.
The visitors almost doubled their lead in the 54th minute as Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu hit a volley from just outside the penalty area that hit the right post before caroming off Maurer and behind for a corner kick.
NTSC hit back with 11 minutes to go, however, as David Rodriguez played in older brother Arturo Rodriguez as he cut toward the top of the penalty area, and Arturo fired a low finish into the right corner.
The hosts almost struck late as a long-range free kick by Almaguer that dipped low toward the left corner was saved by Merancio Valdez, who did just enough to keep the rebound away from NTSC’s Alfusainey Jatta.
That proved to be the last serious chance of the game, however, as honors ended even.
Greenville Triumph SC rode three first-half goals to a third consecutive victory as it defeated Toronto FC II at the BMO Training Ground and moved into fourth place in the League One standings to kick off the weekend’s action.
Greenville took the lead in just the seventh minute when Dominic Boland cleaned up the rebound from Omar Mohamed’s shot from the edge of the penalty area after TFC II goalkeeper Yann-Alexandre Fillion made the initial save.
Triumph SC doubled its lead just past the half-hour mark as Jake Keegan redirected a challenge at the edge of Toronto’s penalty area to Xavier Gomez. The initial shot by Gomez was saved, but he took the rebound and centered for Keegan to tap home his ninth goal of the season.
Keegan’s goal moved him into a tie for the league-lead alongside North Texas SC’s Ronaldo Damus.
Three minutes later Mohamed added his name to the scoresheet when Gomez cut back a low cross from the right toward the penalty spot that picked out the late-arriving midfielder, earning Gomez his second assist of the contest.
Toronto’s Ayo Akinola pulled a goal back in the 64th minute after coming on as a halftime substitute as he ran onto a through-ball from Matt Srbely for a first-time finish past the advancing goalkeeper.
Greenville twice almost restored its two-goal lead soon after as both Paul Clowes and Aaron Walker had chances denied by Fillion.
Triumph SC goalkeeper Dallas Jaye also made an important save with 14 minutes to go to keep out a low shot by TFC II’s Jordan Perruzza that took a deflection on its way to goal.
Greenville would see out the remainder of the contest, however, to end the day in the playoff positions in League One.