Despite oppressive heat and humidity and a raucous crowd in Pan America Stadium, Samuel Goni scored three goals and Chattanooga Football Club shut out the New Orleans Jesters in a convincing 4-0 win.
Chattanooga gained the upper hand early in the second half, when Jose “Zeca” Ferraz made a high-bouncing pass during a CFC breakaway and Goni deftly popped it over the New Orleans keeper, who was playing a very high position, which allowed Goni to play his soft shot right over the keeper’s head. 5 minutes later, it was déjà vu as Samuel Goni scored an almost-identical goal from the same spot, this time assisted by Luke Winter. The New Orleans Jesters’ supporters group, the Royal Guard, positioned themselves behind the CFC bench and were loud and energetic the first 45 minutes of play, but in the waning moments of stoppage time of the second half, Leo DeSmedt assisted Luke Winter, who also scored by softly making his shot just over the New Orleans keeper’s head, leaving the New Orleans fans to groan audibly as the ball slowly bounced and dove into the back of the New Orleans net.
In the 63rd minute, it was a quick counter needing only 3 passes that led to CFC’s fourth goal and the third in Goni’s hattrick. The goal started as CFC GK Hartley found Luis Trude, who in turn quickly passed to Luke Winter, who made the final pass to a streaking Goni down the right side. Goni only needed three touches at full speed before he was in the box and unleashed a right-footed blast that ricocheted off the crossbar and in the net.
New Orleans wasn’t without their own moments of excitement. Compared to the very large Davenport Field at Finley Stadium, the shorter, quicker Pan American pitch generated a host of dangerous counter attacks from both sides. Late in the first half, a New Orleans free kick made its way around the CFC wall and clanged off the right post. Flashes of speed and skill on New Orleans left side kept CFC defenders and CFC goalkeeper Greg Hartley on their toes, but the night would end fruitlessly for the Jesters’ attacking line and resulted in the 5th clean sheet for CFC on the season.
CFC is now 8-1 in all competitions and 4-0 in conference play. CFC’s next match is Tuesday, June 9 at Finley Stadium at 7:30pm EST.