Apotheos FC Exits U.S. Open Cup in Hard-Fought 1-0 Loss to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC

By Parker Cleveland/NPSL.com

Apotheos FC hosted Chattanooga Red Wolves SC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup on a cool, clear night at Silverbacks Park in Atlanta on Wednesday night.  The Red Wolves would start off with an edge in possession and the Apotheos backline was called into action but was up to the task.  A flurry of attacks in around the 15 minute mark were dealt with aptly by the home team. 

Just before the half hour mark the home side would have a good attacking sequence leading to a cross into the box that was cleared by the defense.  The resulting counter would see Chattanooga put the ball in the back of the net, but the Apotheos defenders held their line, and it was disallowed for offside. 

Forward Max Wilkins sent a strong shot on goal making Wolves goalkeeper Tim Trilk make a diving stop just before the 40th minute.  The away side countered with a chance of their own as a close- range shot was knocked down and smothered by Abraham Mendieta to keep the game scoreless. That would be the state of the game going into halftime; both sides were happy with the chances they created but had no goals to show for their efforts. 

The second half saw the teams come out searching for a goal.  It would come in the 51st minute as a miscue from an Apotheos defender gave Chattanooga a chance to score.  Mendieta came out of his net and closed down the attack but the ball was not cleared and fell to Red Wolves attacker Stefan Lukic who scored on an open net to put the visitors ahead. 

Apotheos FC pushed forward as the Red Wolves hung back to protect their lead.  The more defensive look from the visitors made it difficult for Apotheos to effectively string passes together, and scoring chances were very hard to come by. 

As the home side looked for an equalizer, the game became more physical as the referee started to get busier as the game moved into the later stages.  In the 66th minute Apotheos made a substitute to move to a 3-5-2 formation and try to get more passing options in their attacking efforts. 

Through a combination of fouls and timely defending by their opponents, Apotheos struggled to generate chances for an equalizer.  A glimmer of hope came on a long-range shot in the 85th minute by Iolo Jones that was on frame but the opposing keeper caught it before it could go under the crossbar. 

Late in the game there would be a foul at midfield by Chattanooga leading to a long free kick that was cleared by the visitors.  

As the game entered injury time, one final chance came for Apotheos on a ball sent into the box giving the home side a shot close in on goal.  The defense would block it though, and the ref blew his whistle seconds later.  Apotheos would fall to the Red Wolves by a score of 1-0 in a hard-fought loss for the home team.

 

Photo Credit: Parker Cleveland/NPSL.com

 

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