CHATTANOOGA, TN. (August 27, 2022) – The Red Wolves were back in action on Saturday night in Charlotte taking on the Charlotte Independence. Coach Weekley and the Red Wolves came into the match following a 2-1 win at CHI Memorial Stadium and looking to extend the club’s unbeaten streak in the league to eight games.
Alex Tejera got the match started with a bang just two minutes into the match, as Moe Espinoza put in an inch-perfect cross that Tejera steered into the net superbly with a header to put the visitors up 0-1. His goal, which came at 1:09 in the match, was the fastest goal the Red Wolves have scored in a match during the 2022 campaign. Espinoza’s assist was his seventh of the season, good for second in the league and first for the Red Wolves.
Tejera would get a chance for his second just moments later as Rafa Mentzingen found the goal scorer at close range and his effort missed just wide of the right post as the striker continued to make himself known early in the match. Ualefi would have a go moments later off another searching ball from Mentzingen, but his effort would go just over the frame of the goal.
The sides would find themselves locked in a cagey affair for a majority of the first half, with neither side able to break through with the next goal. However, the hosts would eventually be the ones to strike next, as Miguel Ibarra steered home a cross from Khori Bennett with an acrobatic effort to level the contest at 1-1.
The hosts would get a chance to take the lead moments before halftime, as Khori Bennett took aim towards the Red Wolves goal following a pass from Gabriel Obertan. However, Carlos Avilez would make a good save to deny the hosts the lead as the sides headed to the locker room level at 1-1.
The second half would start with a change for the Red Wolves, as Ryley Kraft replaced Ualefi in the middle of the park. Espinoza would nearly score an audacious goal moments later, as his free kick curled menacingly towards the bottom corner before eventually being saved by the Independence keeper.
After sustained pressure, the Red Wolves found the goal that would put them back ahead in the 60th minute. The always influential Moe Espinoza would latch onto a great ball from Mentzingen on the side of the eighteen-yard box; He cut inside and curled an inch-perfect finish past the Charlotte keeper to put the Red Wolves back in front 1-2.
Alex Tejera would draw a penalty in the 64th minute as the visitors looked to put the game to bed, but the spot kick from Jose Carrera-Garcia was saved by the Charlotte keeper. The 80th minute would see more fresh legs introduced for the Red Wolves, as Rafa Mentzingen was withdrawn after a great performance and replaced by Rey Ortiz.
Charlotte would find the leveller late on in the match, as Tresor Mbuyu fired home on his left to bring the game level agonizingly late on. The Red Wolves would introduce Andres Hhernandez in stoppage time to attempt to find the winner, but the match would end level at 2-2.
Despite the late goal, the Red Wolves extended their unbeaten run in the league to eight games. The run is the second longest in club history behind the fifteen-game unbeaten run last campaign that set a record in USL League One.
The Red Wolves are back in action for a blockbuster next Saturday night, visiting defending USL League One Champions and playoff rivals Union Omaha at Werner Park.