Stumptown AC 0 Chattanooga FC 1: Nooga by the Numbers 2021 Rewind

Chattanooga FC’s season ending trip to the Stumplex in Matthews, NC saw the Boys in Blue emerge victorious with a one-nil win over Stumptown AC. It was not a vintage performance but the three points were enough to see CFC rise to the top half of the NISA table after a campaign where we may have hoped for a bit more. We can look back on this match with extra intrigue as Stumptown’s then head coach Rod Underwood has since crossed over the mountains to join Chattanooga FC.

Not familiar with expected goals (xG)? Click here!

We can certainly empathize with Stumptown supporters who may feel that they deserved something from the match. Rod Underwood employed a possession-hungry “four-two-freedom” lineup that did very well retaining the ball and pinning in CFC for much of the game. Stumptown reached a staggering 63.8% possession, of which 38% was spent in CFC’s half of the pitch. This possession was not devoid of threat, with the team accumulating an xG of 1.48. Stumptown’s commentators on Eleven Sports touched on the topic of goal scoring throughout the match. The club has struggled massively to score throughout the season, and frankly doesn’t have an out-and-out striker to rely on. On a side note, I’m excited to see if this trend of Stumptown underscoring is constant throughout the season- I think we have some great strikers at CFC and if Underwood soccer is really creating chances then CFC will thrive this coming season!

Chattanooga FC sprung a few surprises in their lineup, opting to use a rarely seen back four and pushing the defensive stalwart Nick Spielman into more of a stopper position. Sitting back on 36.2% possession (with 61% in their own half) meant that CFC needed real quality in their outlets when they won the ball. Two players stood out the most going forward. James Kasak (who gave Stumptown nightmares in the reverse fixture) and Damien Rodriguez were CFC’s best players on the field, displaying great quality and skill as they provided CFC with progressive movement and passing. Rodriguez was the best of the lot providing quality end product as well, sending in crosses that resulted in a shot off the upright from Markus Naglestad in the first half and the lone goal (scored by Brett Jones or a Robert Hines own goal? Depends on who you ask) to seal the deal, even netting once himself, although it was called back for offsides. In total, CFC racked up an xG of 1.1, justly reflected in the score.

There were no big surprises in terms of flow of the game, with CFC starting the best in each half and Stumptown growing into each half. CFC did let Stumptown have a few quality looks on goal but they were of course unable to convert. Most of these chances didn’t even hit the frame; Alec Redington got his clean sheet, but the Stumptown strikers didn’t make him work very hard for it.

All in all, although it wasn’t Chattanooga’s best night out, they walked away with three points against a well structured Stumptown team that has struggled to score.

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