Goals either side of halftime from Ricardo Zacarias and Tanner Dieterich led Chattanooga Red Wolves SC to a 2-0 home win over Union Omaha on Tuesday afternoon at CHI Memorial Stadium, ending Omaha's unbeaten season and vaulting the Red Wolves above the Owls into second place in League One.
Chattanooga took the lead on 18 minutes with its only shot of the first half. Zacarias rushed down the right flank to catch up to Ualefi's ball over the top before slaloming between defenders and finishing calmly to put the Red Wolves ahead.
Omaha nearly equalized after 35 minutes with a fantastic double chance, but the first was saved by Chattanooga goalkeeper Alex Mangels and the second saw Elma N'For's header denied by the crossbar.
The scoring combination of Marky Hernandez and Dieterich, which produced Chattanooga's equalizer against Richmond Kickers last weekend, came up big again for the Red Wolves in the second half. Hernandez broke forward, and with Omaha's defense stretched, found Dieterich sprinting all alone toward the box.
Dieterich's excellent first-time finish doubled the Red Wolves' advantage and secured the points for Chattanooga.
The result is a massive one for Jimmy Obleda's Red Wolves side, who now leap above Omaha into the second and final League One playoff place. Chattanooga has now defeated two of its fiercest rivals for that second place spot in the last week, after knocking off Richmond on Saturday.
The Red Wolves can make their statement of intent even stronger this Saturday, when they welcome league leaders Greenville Triumph SC to Chattanooga in a match that will pit the top two teams in the table against each other.
Though the loss ends Omaha's eight-game unbeaten run to begin its inaugural season, the Owls remain a real contender for a spot in the League One Final. Omaha now sit two points behind Chattanooga, but have played one less game than the Red Wolves. Jay Mims' team will look to bounce back when it hosts New England Revolution II at the weekend.
CHA (18'): Zacarias (second), assisted by Ualefi
CHA (63'): Dieterich (second), assisted by Hernandez
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC: September 19 v. Greenville Triumph SC (H)
Union Omaha: September 19 v. New England Revolution II (H)