Chattanooga, TN. – Almost 2,000 fans attended an exhibition match between Chattanooga FC of the NPSL and D.C. United’s Under 23 squad of MLS. D.C. United walked away from the match with a 2-1 victory over the hosts.
Chattanooga FC took early control of the game by putting heavy pressure on United’s backs and midfielders. Chattanooga’s forwards also created great scoring opportunities early in the match. Michael Brooks had two very good chances in the first twelve minutes and the other starting forward, Chris Ochieng, hit post and in the 22nd minute.
“We had plenty of opportunities to score,” said GM Sean McDaniel. “DC is just too good to miss opportunities like that. They made us pay for our mistakes.”
In the 30th minute, Brooks found himself behind the defense with and put the ball in the net, but offsides was called, so the goal was denied.D.C. United’s defense held strong and kept their team in the match. Finally, in the 43rd minute, United’s forward Junior Sanchez found space behind Chattanooga’s defense and slid a perfectly place shot underneath a diving Thomas Hunter.
Chattanooga FC continued to generate more dangerous scoring opportunities in the second half, but United’s defense held strong and kept the home side off the scoreboard.
In the 61st minute, D.C. United defender, Jack Randazzo, took down Brooks only a yard outside of the penalty area. The ensuing free kick was saved by the United keeper.
In the 74th minute, D.C. United’s Michael Funes found the back of the net off a beautiful header on a corner kick. Chattanooga keeper Hunter didn’t have a chance as it tucked just inside the upper right corner of the net.
Chattanooga FC found its way onto the scoreboard in the 86th minute. Defender Nick Odeny made a hard near post run and flicked a cross from Luke Winter across the face of the goal. The ball found its way into the right corner of the net to bring the game to within a goal.
The game finished out with heavy pressure on United’s goal from Chattanooga, but the tying goal was nowhere to be found.
“I am proud of our guys,” said D.C. United U-23’s Head Coach, Jaime Moreno. “We scored two good goals. We enjoyed our time here in Chattanooga and the game environment was very exciting.”