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 Chattanooga Red Wolves SC

Malango Scores Brace, Charlotte Make Second Half Comeback to Claim Win at Home

June 15, 2024 - United Soccer League One (USL1)
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC News Release

The Chattanooga Red Wolves took on Charlotte Independence for the first time this season at American Legion Memorial Stadium. While the Red Wolves had an early 2-0 lead with a brace from Mayele Malango, the Independence came back in the second half to claim a 4-2 victory at home. Charlotte will travel to Chattanooga on July 16th for the final meeting of the clubs.

After facing a tough stretch of games the previous week, the Red Wolves looked to earn regular season points in a key match to gain on Charlotte in the standings. Mayele Malango came out roaring just 19 seconds in for his third goal of the season and fifth in four games to give Chattanooga a stunningly early lead. He then found a feed from Stefan Lukic in the tenth minute to extend the lead to 2-0.

The gameplay evened out through the remainder of the first half as the Independence recovered from the early deficit and found their footing. The Red Wolves defense and goalkeeper TJ Bush were forced to hunker down and keep the Jacks at bay as Juan Obregón, Jr. led the charge. Bush made a total of five saves in the first half, nearly reaching his save record of seven in one match.

Charlotte eventually found the back of the net in first half stoppage time to avoid the shutout when Kharlton Belmar made a leaping tap-in past Bush to cut the lead in half.

The Jacks entered the second half aggressively and maintained their momentum following their late first half tally. After picking up additional shots on target, Obregón knocked a one-timer into the top of the goal to tie the match at two apiece.

Charlotte continued to edge out the Red Wolves in shots through the second half as Chattanooga worked to refocus their offensive efforts and grab the go-ahead goal; however, the Independence continued their onslaught and picked up two goals in the 83rd and 86th minute to secure the 4-2 win.

"When we are good, we are good; we scored two great goals and had moments to make it three or four," said head coach Scott Mackenzie. "As a team, we have to work together to dig ourselves out of the hole we are in. There are signs we can be a great team, we need to turn those signs into consistent 90 minute performances."

The Red Wolves return to CHI Memorial Stadium on Saturday, June 22nd against South Georgia Tormenta for World Record Night and drink specials presented by Dos Equis. Tickets are on sale now.

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