Detroit City FC home opener soured by late equalizer

The Detroit News

A late equalizer by Chattanooga FC resulted in a 1-1 draw and put a damper on Detroit City FC's home-opener Saturday before 5,361 spectators at Keyworth Stadium.

Detroit City FC's home opener with Chattanooga FC drew 5,361 at Keyworth Stadium on Saturday.

With 12 minutes left, Chattanooga FC's Charlie Clarke chipped Detroit City FC goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher outside the 18-yard box, drawing the short-handed visitors level. Brad Centala's goal in the 42nd minute gave DCFC a 1-0 lead.

The tie came a week after Le Rouge defeated the Tennessee-based National Premier Soccer League side 2-1 in the first leg of the two-game preseason series at Finley Stadium.

Chattanooga was reduced to 10 players two minutes into the second half after David Perez's straight red card for a high challenge on DCFC's Tariq Akeel.

Clarke's audacious attempt appeared to surprise the former Detroit Mercy netminder, who ended up in a heap in the back of the net after unsuccessfully trying to tip the ball over the bar.

DCFC picked up where it left off in Chattanooga a week ago.

Shawn Lawson, who scored the deciding goal in last week's first-leg win at Chattanooga's Finley Stadium, latched onto a shot five minutes in that soared over the bar while Roddy Green, who also scored, saw a goal-bound attempt ring off the bar in the 11th minute.

Danny Deakin's free-kick swerved to the left of the goalpost in the 34th minute before his speculative ball in the box 12 minutes later led to the game's first goal. Centala pounced on Deakin's delivery in the six-yard box, nudging the ball into the net.

After Chattanooga went down a man, DCFC saw scoring chances go unfulfilled.

Chattanooga goalkeeper Tommy Halsall in the 59th minute made a diving save on Lawson's volley in front the net in the 59th minute, keeping it a one-goal game.