Forward Madison FC can’t finish chances in opening loss to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC

April 7, 2019

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Like coach Daryl Shore hoped, Forward Madison FC played with possession in its opponent’s end for most of its USL League One debut Saturday.

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, on the other hand, converted its best chance of the game, and Forward Madison couldn’t deliver at the end.

Éamon Zayed’s 67th-minute goal gave Chattanooga a 1-0 victory on Saturday at David Stanton Field, spoiling FMFC’s first competitive game.

It took only a few touches for the Red Wolves to make good on their only shot on target. Substitute Juan Ignacio Mare chested down a long free kick by goalkeeper Alex Mangels, and Steven Beattie pushed the ball ahead for Zayed.

Zayed’s right-footed strike eluded Forward Madison goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.

FMFC had 67% of the possession and outshot Chattanooga 11-6 (4-1 on target) but paid the price for not cashing in on early chances.

Mason Toye tried to chip the ball over Mangels in the 10th minute but didn’t get enough on the effort, which landed in the keeper’s outstretched hands.

Three minutes later, Josiel Núñez fired over the bar on a free kick from about 25 yards out.

In the 18th minute, Wyatt Omsberg put Paulo Júnior through for a shot that got blocked in the penalty area.

Chattanooga started to gain possession in the final 15 minutes of the opening half but didn’t challenge St. Clair.

Sito Seoane had the Red Wolves’ first good chance in the 53rd minute but flicked a cross over the net from 6 yards out.

That was a sign of the changing of the game, with Chattanooga starting to get more attempts.

Still, Forward Madison (0-1) had three good chances to tie after Chattanooga (1-1) went ahead. Mangels stopped Paulo Júnior’s header in the 70th minute, and Paulo Júnior’s shot was blocked in the 87th minute after a nice turn in the penalty area.

A last-gasp cross by Don Smart in the second minute of second-half stoppage time glanced off FMFC substitute Brian Bement in front of the net but rolled harmlessly to Mangels, who was credited with four saves.

Saturday was the first game for Forward Madison after a five-game preseason schedule that included victories over Indy Eleven, UW-Parkside and Marquette and losses to Saint Louis FC and Creighton.

Forward Madison 0 0 — 0

Chattanooga 0 1 — 1

Second half: C — Zayed (Beattie), 67th minute.

Lineups: Forward Madison — St. Clair; Smart, Manley, Omsberg, Tobin; Banks, Michaud (Eaton 82nd), Núñez (Bement 86th); Toye, Barriga Toyama (Bartley 71st), Paulo Júnior.

Chattanooga — Mangels; Dixon, Zguro, Kendall-Moullin, Folla; Ualefi, Doyle, Caparelli (Soto 83rd); Zayed, Beattie, Sito Seoane (Mare 67th).

Saves: FM (St. Clair) 0; C (Mangels) 4. Shots: FM 11, C 6. Corner kicks: FM 6, C 3. Fouls: FM 11, C 17. Offsides: FM 1, C 1. Yellow cards: FM — Núñez (15th) Smart (45th+2); C — Sito Seoane (34th), Zguro (85th). Att. — 3,527.