The 45-minute time delay wasn't worth the wait for the Georgia Revolution Friday night.
Georgia welcomed Chattanooga FC to the RYSA Soccerplex for the National Premier Soccer League Southeastern Conference championship with a berth to the national semifinals at stake. Chattanooga spoiled the welcome party by coming away with a 1-0 victory.
Coming into the match, Revolution coach John Sprague said the key to a win would be "team speed," and the Revs would need a fast start.
That would be hard to come by as lightning delayed kickoff 45 minutes, despite Sprauge saying "the conditions were perfect for soccer."
From the outset, Georgia advanced the ball quickly getting an early shot by forward Kwado Poku from the corner. The attempt, however, went wide.
After finding it difficult to advance past midfield, Chattanooga finally got a shot on goal but it ricocheted off a Georgia defender, setting up a corner kick. The kick looked as if it was pure but goalkeeper Zack Schultze hustled to keep the game scoreless.
Chattanooga then took advantage of sloppy footwork by the Revolution. Michael Brooks dribbled down the right side, crossed left and attempted a shot, but it was wide as 20 minutes remained in the first half. With time dwindling down in the half, the Revolution began to get it going.
After some precision passing where the ball got in prime position in the middle of the field to score, a yellow card was called on Chattanooga. midfielder Clarke Bentley attempted the penalty kick but it was blocked by goalkeeper Greg Hartley, ending the half at zero. For the half, Chattanooga attempted seven shots while Georgia had five.
The Revolution started the second half fast and furious, advancing the ball to their side of the field where Poku attempted a quick shot but once again Hartley of Chattanooga was there for the timely save.
The Revolution came out of halftime striving to be aggressive and Chattanooga aided in the effort with sub-par ball handling and showed a lack of continuity early on.
Georgia got shots on goal but could not capitalize on mistakes by Chattanooga. Chattanooga finally attempted a shot at the 15 minute mark of the second half but it was saved by Schultze. Chattanooga again advanced the ball in the corner and attempted a shot but once again it was denied by Schultze.
Finally in the 27th minute, the first goal was scored as midfielder Luis Trude shot past a diving Schultze and put Chattanooga up 1-0. The sense of urgency was turned up for the Revolution as time was beginning to be the enemy. With only 10 minutes left in the contest, Georgia's ultra-aggressive play nearly cost them as Chattanooga took advantage of sloppy ball-handling and got a great look but the attempted shot hit the crossbar.
The Revolution never seriously threatened to score in the last eight minutes and Chattanooga played successful keep away to advance to the semifinals.