GREENVILLE, SC. (September 11th, 2021) - The Red Wolves travelled to South Carolina Saturday night to take on 2020 Champions Greenville Triumph SC looking to extend their historic unbeaten run to 16 games having not lost in over 3 straight months. Throughout the first 20 minutes of the match, the sides played evenly but with little to note in the attacking third. However, the good start to the half for the Red Wolves would be undone in the 24th minute, when Sebastian Capozucchi was shown a red card for a very innocuous challenge on Aaron Walker, whose reaction to the foul seemed to bait a red out of the referee. While his boot was high, there was minimal contact and as always, the defender has a right to the ball.
Reacting to the red card, Manager Jimmy Obleda was forced to sacrifice forward Jackson Dietrich in the 27th minute for Jonathan Esparza who slotted in Capozucchi’s place. The effects of the red card were felt merely two minutes later, as Allan Gavilanes fed in Joshua Donnelly who slotted past Tim Trilk to make it 1-0 to the home side. After a slow end to the first half, the Red Wolves looked to turn up the heat bringing on Ronaldo Pineda and Blake in place of Ualefi and Juan Galindrez.
In the 58th minute the Red Wolves would find a piece of good fortune, or two pieces for that matter as Don Smart was shown 2 yellows inside of 3 minutes bringing Greenville down to 10 men. 5 minutes later Chattanooga’s offensive onslaught began. Jonathan Esparza whipped in a wonderful cross met by a towering header from Jonathan Ricketts, but the Greenville Goalkeeper did well to save the effort. He would be called into action 6 minutes later as Blake Frischknecht made a fantastic move to get past the defenders and stung a shot into the hands of the Triumph goalie. The Red Wolves continued to make changes and pile on the pressure late in the match, but were unable to find the late equalizer.
It was a hard fought second half, as the Red Wolves piled on pressure and worked hard to keep the Triumph on their heels. It was a game where the away side will feel hard done by the referees, as they dominated and peppered shots at the Triumph goal even down a man. Even though the streak was snapped, the record shattering 15-game undefeated run deserves plaudits from supporters and the club alike. A truly sterling accomplishment and a testament to the work the squad has put in since the beginning of the campaign. Despite the result, the Red Wolves remain at the top of the USL League One table tied for first place.
The first place Red Wolves Look to Rebound Next Saturday Night, as North Carolina FC Travels to CHI Memorial Stadium.