CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and Forward Madison FC played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon at CHI Memorial Stadium, a result that damages the postseason ambitions of both clubs.
Chattanooga striker Greg Hurst netted his seventh goal of the season to open the scoring after only eight minutes, expertly dispatching a penalty kick in the lower left corner.
Both goalkeepers then came up with excellent stops to keep the score at 1-0, with the Red Wolves' Alex Mangels making a kick save in a 1v1 situation and Madison's Chris Brady using a strong hand to push a powerful strike over the bar.
Forward Madison started the second half on the front foot in search of an equalizer. The increased offensive impetus for Head Coach Daryl Shore's side paid off with around 20 minutes remaining, courtesy of a moment of magic from 19-year-old midfielder Michael Vang.
The Flamingos lost the ball in the attacking third, but pressed well to immediately win it back. Vang received a pass from Paulo Jr. in the box, weaved his way between defenders, and stared down Mangels in the Chattanooga goal before opening his body and wrapping his right foot around the ball for a fine finish.
Hurst thought he had found the winner in the 80th minute when he broke through on goal after a very clever flick over a defender's head, but Brady had other ideas. The 16-year-old FMFC goalkeeper kicked out his foot at the last moment to toe Hurst's shot out of danger, preserving the 1-1 scoreline.
The match finished level, and while both teams fought well, it's a disappointing result for the pair as each was in need of a win to breathe life into its postseason hopes. As things stand now, a win for the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night would eliminate Chattanooga and Madison from League One Final contention.
If the Kickers don't take care of business, the Red Wolves could have a chance to leap above Richmond in the standings when they visit City Stadium on the regular season's final day. Next up for Madison is a return home to Hart Park on Wednesday, when the Flamingos will welcome North Texas SC.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC: October 24 v. Richmond Kickers (A)
Forward Madison FC: October 21 v. North Texas SC (H)