September 30, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament Semi-Finals
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Oakland Roots 3, Chattanooga FC 2
OAK Johnny Rodriguez 6′
OAK Angel Heredia 19′
CFC Ian McGrath 46′
OAK Matthew Fondy 48′
CFC Ryan Marcano 77′
The first semi-final match of the day featured Group A #1 Seed Oakland Roots vs Group B #2 Seed Chattanooga FC. The winner would go on to the finals. The loser would go home.
The match began in a chilly September light rain that ended by half time.
Oakland started the match with a starting eleven that lined up against Detroit City FC with three exceptions: Niall Irwin, Yohannes Harish, and Johnny Rodriguez started for Robert Hines, Diego Casillas, Jack McInerney.
Christian Herrera – Keeper
Nana Attakora – Defender
Tarn Weir – Defender
David Abidor – Defender
Angel Heredia – Midfielder
Peter Pearson – Midfielder
Niall Irwin – Midfielder
Ariel Mbumba – Midfielder
Yohannes Harish – Midfielder
Matthew Fondy – Forward
Johnny Rodriguez – Forward
Chattanooga FC made three changes to the line up that started the Cal United match. Clayton Adams, Ryan Marcano, and Brian Bement made way for Ian McGrath, Jose Ferraz, and Juan Hernandez.
Alec Redington – Keeper
Nick Spielman – Defender
Shaun Russell – Defender
David Koloko – Defender
Juan Hernandez – Midfielder
Kyle Carr – Midfielder
Sean Hoffstatter – Midfielder
Cameron Woodfin – Midfielder
Ian McGrath – Midfielder
Jose Ferraz – Forward
Darwin Lom – Forward
Oakland drew first blood in the 5th minute. From the center circle, Ariel Mbumba sent a ball long and toward the near side which landed for Matt Fondy. Running it to the top corner of the box, Fondy sent the ball into the path of Johnny Rodriguez in front of the goal, who slotted it past Alec Redington to give the Roots a 1-0 lead.
Fourteen minutes later, Oakland struck again, as Angel Heredia sent a scorching drive from just outside of the box past Redington, doubling their lead.
Chattanooga was able to fend off the remaining twenty-six minutes of the half so the team could regroup during the break. Chattanooga subbed in Erik Panzer for David Koloko to begin the second half.
Just a minute into the second half, Chattanooga pressed and earned a throw-in inside Roots territory. Sean Hoffstatter threw it deep in the box, finding Ian McGrath’s head which vaulted the ball beyond the reach of the tall Roots keeper and into the back of the net.
But Oakland regained its two-goal lead just two minutes later. The ball came in on goal and at the top of the box Alec Redington went to clear it. However an on-rushing Matt Fondy blocked it, ricocheting Redington’s clear into the back of the net.
In the 55th minute, Jack McInerney subbed in for Matt Fondy. An injury sustained by Alec Redington caused Matt Mozynski to replace the Chattanooga keeper in the 60th minute. In the 72nd minute, both teams made substitutions. David Navarro came in for Nana Attakora. Chattanooga replaced Darwin Lom and Jose Ferraz with Ryan Marcano and Brian Bement. The Chattanooga switch paid dividends when five minutes later, Ryan Marcano scored one of the prettiest team goals of the tournament. Another throw-in deep in the Oakland end of the pitch was headed out by a Roots defender. The ball fell outside of the box to Erik Panzer, who sent the ball in and to his right. Juan Hernandez back-heeled it to Brian Bement who sent it into the air toward the goal. As it dropped, Ryan Marcano, whose back was to goal, bicycle kicked it past Christian Herrera into the net. With 13 minutes plus a significant amount of added time to play, Chattanooga pressed for the equalizer.
Christopher Marshall subbed in for Cameron Woodfin in the 87th minute. But in the end, Chattanooga fell short. Oakland advanced to the tournament final.
The complete tournament can be found HERE.