By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tormenta takes out Chattanooga in impressive 4-0 rout
Tormenta FC
Tormenta's Ajmeer Spengler, right, celebrates his goal to put his side up 2-0 against Chattanooga early in the second half of Tormenta's 4-0 victory Saturday night.

Three second half goals lifted South Georgia Tormenta to a much needed 4-0 win over the Chattanooga Red Wolves Saturday night.

Sebastian Vivas scored two goals and assisted on a third as Tormenta (3-4-1, W-L-D, 10 points) controlled much of the game and sought to put some separation between themselves and the bottom of the league when it comes to playoff positioning.

Tormenta was coming off five straight winless matches across all competitions and even though they played well and were close in those games, getting a win was something Manager Ian Cameron said important for his team.

“We’re ever so proud of the boys because last week was awfully hard,” Cameron said. “They deserved more last week, but to go through that and respond in the proper way and to get us back on track at home games, I’m ever so proud of them. Our fans deserve that and our players deserve that.”

Just nine minutes into the first half, Tormenta started the scoring when defender Aaron Lombardi took advantage of some confusion on the part of the Red Wolves (1-2-1, 4 points) defense. He played a pass to Jackson Khoury, but amid the confusion of the play, no one went to the ball and Lombardi was able to run past the defense. He then cut the ball back to Vivas at the top of the penalty box where he was able to fire a shot past former South Georgia and current Chattanooga goalkeeper TJ Bush for the early 1-0 lead.

Lombardi said he always tries to follow the play following making a pass and when he saw that he had the chance to continue forward and find Vivas, he knew he had to take that opportunity.

“Luckily I was able to find Seba and he had a great finish,” Lombardi said. “It’s not an easy finish. It looks easy from the outside,” he said of the goal.

Vivas said through an interpreter that he felt comfortable tonight and was happy to score, but tried to keep the focus on the team. “The group’s important and I’m glad the group did well and I hope they continue that way,” he said. “Obviously I’m very happy to get on the score sheet,” he said. 

Tormenta would double their lead early in the second half. In the 60th minute, on the left side, Pedro Fonseca sent a pass all the way across the field to Nick Akoto on the right touchline where he was all alone. Akoto’s cross found Ajmeer Spengler who was able to head it past Bush to put South Georgia ahead 2-0.

Cameron’s eyes lit up when asked about the impact Spengler has had in his first professional season with Tormenta.

“Brilliant player,” he said. “And to be honest, there’s still more from him. In the first half, I was furious at him because I still think he can get better and better if he starts clicking on some more actions where he can elevate his game then the sky’s the limit.”

Three minutes later, on Niall Watson’s first touch of the game, he was able to extend the Tormenta lead to 3-0 following a turnover created by Vivas who pressured the Red Wolves defender, stole the ball and played a perfect pass for Watson to run on and finish. 

Vivas would close out the scoring in the 75th minute with his second of the night when he was able to get behind the Chattanooga defense and take a pass from Spengler and find a way to take the bouncing pass and get it by the goalkeeper for his second of the night.

“Brilliant, brilliant,” Cameron said of Vivas. “At the end of the game he’s still pressing. He’s still making actions. This is a guy who brought his family over here. He spoke very very little English when he came across. His daughter and wife don’t speak much English, but he’s embraced the environment, worked so, so hard and he’s getting better and better and more awareness of what we’re trying to do. I’m so happy for the boy because he’s a gem of a lad and he’s proven to be a valuable asset to our organization.”

While the offensive explosion will deservedly get much of the attention, not to be lost was the performance of the defense, which held Chattanooga to only four shots on target and never really felt threatened by the Red Wolves attack.

“I think any time you score first that takes a lot of the pressure off,” said Tormenta goalkeeper Ford Parker. “I think everyone was bought in to what we were trying to do and it worked out. We didn’t really have any great chances from them. The group in front of me played really well.”

Tormenta was without the services of starting center back Jake Dengler who was out with an injury, but Preston Kilwien and Callum Stretch stepped in to the middle of the Tormenta defense and were able to get their second shutout of the season after keeping Lexington scoreless in a 3-0 win in April.

“Jake’s a leader on this team. He’s one of the captains. He’s a great player and he’s proven it in the league. He’s been a mentor for some of the younger guys. I think it’s difficult without him but we have depth so that when he’s out we can fill in, but we need him back and we need him healthy,” Parker said.

Overall, Cameron was pleased with Tormenta’s performance.

“It was a game of patience at the start, and once the chances started coming, we pushed and we pushed and we pushed,” he said. “I think between the 15th minute and the 75th minute, we were awfully strong.”

Despite that, Cameron said the team needs to make sure they’re consistent in what they’re doing regardless of the score.

“We’re a team littered with first-year pros and young players. We’re the youngest team in the league, on average, and these guys need coaching, they need accountability,” he said “We’re trying to get these guys to the next level and if a USL Championship coach logged in and was only watching the final 20 minutes, they don’t care about the score line. They want to see habits. They want to see actions. They want to see awareness. They want to see consistency. And that’s why we’re trying to instill in them.”

Tormenta returns to action on Saturday at 7:30 when they host Richmond for the third game of the Jagermeister Cup.