Match Recap: MOBA Completes Perfect Pre-Season, Knocks Off Pumas 4-2

No season can be completely defined by how well the pre-season goes. It is a good measuring stick for potential success, but there is no telling what twists of fate a season may hold. A team who loses every match can still have a chance to have a strong season, however a good start can do wonders for a team's confidence going forward. With that said, Peachtree City got off to a scorching start, completing feats that are difficult to do in ten matches, much less just three.

Coming off back-to-back wins against Georgia Revolution FC that saw MOBA outscore the Revs 10-1, Peachtree City wanted to continue their great form and head into the PDL season on a high note, and following Saturday's match, they did just as they had hoped. Taking on the East Point Pumas of Atlanta adult league Liga MAGG in what turned out to be the most competitive game of the pre-season, the Pumas looked to spoil Peachtree City's pre-season finale and steal a win at MOBA Soccer Academy. Hoping to catch the home team off guard, the Pumas came out of the gates attacking, and it paid off quickly. Eight minutes into the match, the Pumas won a penalty, and scored easily to take a 1-0 lead. MOBA, having never trailed in the previous two matches, found themselves down a goal early, and now they had to show their fans how they would respond to this adversity. What proved to be a struggle for Peachtree City last year, coach Volker Harms wanted to change that. With Omar Jarun moving back from a forward to a defender, MOBA had the experience and talent on the back to defend, but they needed their forwards and midfielders to provide the attack. After some back and forth play, MOBA got the opportunity they had been searching for, as Khallil Stewart made an expert run, and slotted home his second goal of the pre-season to tie the game back up at one a-piece in the 28th minute. Prior to the ensuing kick-off, a Pumas forward struck the ball into the back of a MOBA player, and the official immediately stopped play. The Pumas were issued a yellow card, and play continued. The remaining time in the half was rather uneventful, with MOBA making a few runs, but nothing came of it. The teams went into the half tied 1-1, and MOBA wanted to keep up the pace in the second.

Following the beginning of the second half, the activity of the game changed drastically, as MOBA took control early. Seven minutes in, forward Tomide Adabale found himself intercepting the keeper's attempted clearance, and the ball shot into the air. Seizing the opportunity, Adabale attempted what would have been an incredible bicycle kick, however it did not quite go as planned. Missing the ball, Adabale struck the keeper in the upper chest with his boot, and he was issued a yellow card. MOBA did not let that get to them, however, as in the 60th minute, the Pumas keeper saved a shot, however Todd Fidler collected the rebound and coolly laid it home, putting the home team up 2-1 with his third goal of the pre-season. Just two minutes later, Fidler was tackled just outside the box, and MOBA was awarded the free kick. After the shot bounced off the wall, Ibrahima Sissoko took an incredible left-footed strike that just curled out of reach of the keeper and in, as MOBA went up 3-1. Quickly, the game was collapsing for the Pumas, as their early promise was broken apart by the MOBA attacking and defense, leaving them incapable of retaliating. Peachtree City had an incredible chance to go up 4-1, as Todd Fidler applied excellent pressure to the keeper, causing a scrap on the goal line and an empty net, however he could not complete the tackle, and the ball went out for a corner. That score line would come eventually, as Victor Forti hauled in a world-class lead pass and just rifled it pass the keeper in the 78th, and Peachtree City found themselves up three goals once again. The match slowed down a fair bit following that goal, however the intensity did not let up, as the game got scrappy in the last fifteen minutes. A number of words were exchanged between teams, and in the 86th, MOBA received a yellow card following a mistimed tackle. With time running down, the Pumas turned up the attacking pressure once again, and this time they did find the net in the 90th minute, however it was just consolation at this point. Entering stoppage time, MOBA had all but locked up the win, and the Pumas did not handle it well. A poor tackle by the Pumas' #10 led to words being exchanged, and he was issued his second yellow card, resulting in a red card and his ejection from the match. Playing with ten men for only a minute or so, the final whistle blew, and MOBA found themselves on top for the third time in the pre-season by a final margin of 4-2.

Outscoring their opponents 14-3 in just three matches, Peachtree City completed their first ever perfect pre-season. Heading into May 13th, MOBA have to be proud of what they have accomplished thus far, and they will surely be hungry for more. The 2017 PDL season opener sees Peachtree City MOBA head to Nashville to take on Nashville SC U23, as MOBA look to prey on a young expansion side, however no wins will come easy, and MOBA will need to respect their divisional opponent as they begin their trek for the South Atlantic Division title.



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