In the club’s first match since Lucas Coutinho suffered a severe head injury following a collision with an opposing goalkeeper, Tormenta FC players and staff honored the midfielder with special T-shirts worn during warm-ups prior to their 1-1 draw with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC.
Dedicating the match to their injured teammate, Tormenta started brightly, getting off four shots in the first 15 minutes. Charlie Dennis found a breakthrough for the home side in the 28th minute, slotting a shot past the goalkeeper after a great individual effort down the right flank. Following Dennis’ goal, the entire Tormenta squad celebrated with Lars Eckenrode who was donning the Coutinho branded T-shirt on the sidelines near the corner flag.
Sito Seoane and Tony Walls willed Chattanooga back into the match and connected for the equalizer in the 58th minute. The fight to come back on the road against Tormenta was impressive and imperative in the Red Wolves push for a top four spot.
Despite the absence of a storybook ending for Tormenta, the match provided the Statesboro community with an opportunity to publicly display their support for Coutinho and appeared to be a cathartic experience from afar. Expect the Brazilian midfielder to continue to be a source of inspiration for the Tormenta players as they continue their quest for a home playoff match and he continues his recovery down the final stretch of the season.
After a positive start, Charlie Dennis opened the scoring for Tormenta in the 28th minute. Center back Jordan Skelton played a long cross field ball to Dennis streaking down the right flank. Dennis collected Skelton’s pass, dribbled to the endline before cutting the ball back onto his favored left foot, and struck a shot that beat Alex Mangels at the back post. The goal was Dennis’ third of the season.
Sito Seoane pulled the Red Wolves level ten minutes into the second half. Tony Walls nodded the ball back to Seoane off of Vangiel Zguro’s outswinging free kick service from the left flank. Seoane hit the bouncing ball on the half volley through traffic that found its way into the back of the net. The goal was Seoane’s fourth of the season.
The draw keeps Tormenta and Chattanooga in third and fourth place respectively, and both four points back of second place Lansing Ignite FC. Despite being winless in its previous five matches, Tormenta is still in a decent position to overtake the Ignite for second place due to its two games in hand. However, John Miglarese’s side will need to start picking up wins down the stretch if they’re going to secure a playoff place and home field advantage. Tormenta will travel to league-leading North Texas SC next Tuesday.
A loss and a draw in back-to-back matches could see Chattanooga drop out of the top four by the end of Week 22. The Red Wolves sit two points ahead of Greenville Triumph SC and three points ahead of Forward Madison FC who both play later this week. Chattanooga is back in action next Friday night in Tucson.