Match Recap: MOBA Falls in Home Opener to Mississippi Brilla FC 2-0
Sometimes, it just really is not your day. Heading into Saturday's game against Mississippi Brilla FC, MOBA had to have felt good after getting a draw against rivals Tormenta FC. All they had to was play with the same energy and fire that they played with in the second half of that game, however having played that game just two days prior, energy had to be at a low for the MOBA squad. Forced to make a few lineup changes due to fatigue, head coach Volker Harms hoped that that would be enough to grab three points at home.
It goes without saying that rain always has something to say about the outcome of a game no matter the sport. The victor more than likely will be the team that can handle the slickness and speed with which the ball moves across the pitch, and they must accustom their playstyle to those factors. With heavy rains coming down prior to the game, and right after halftime, both MOBA and Brilla had to change their games, but it just worked out better for Mississippi. Right after the start, Brilla seemed to be beating MOBA in most facets of the game, supplying them with a number of opportunities that had to be broken up by the MOBA defense. That isn't to say that MOBA did not have their share of chances. After a ball played high for MOBA bounced around the box for a bit, keeper Jordan Bell tried to punch it out, but Michael Brezovsky got his head to it, and Tomide Adabale charged in to chest it home, however he was called offside, and Brilla were awarded the goal kick to the dismay of MOBA players and fans. Only three minutes later, Brilla got forward on the attack, as Bader Boulajoul crossed the ball expertly into the box, and Andre DeGiorgi got a head to it, placing it just out of reach of keeper Will Meyer as Brilla went up 1-0. Todd Fidler seemed to have gotten forward on a beautiful run right before halftime, however he was called offside, and MOBA went into the locker rooms down 1-0.
Having to regroup after being down at the half for the third straight game, MOBA needed to find a spark, and they hoped it would come in the substitution of Auston Bueno. Coming out of the gate, MOBA looked fired up, as they immediately put the pressure on Brilla to defend their threatening attacks. Nothing would come of those attacks, as MOBA struggled to get the shots off cleanly, and in the fiftieth minute, Mississippi turned the tables. On a breakaway, a Mississippi attacker was taken down just a foot outside the box, and keeper Will Meyer was assessed the yellow. After a long wait, the free kick was taken, and it was barely blocked by Lukas Joyner. Despite failing to score, that adversity seemed to get into the heads of the home side, and it never left. In the sixty-third minute, Coach Harms attempted to bring on some fresh legs as he subbed on Santiago Moore for Adabale. Santi would make a difference, but it would not prove to be enough to stop Brilla. Things started to get chippy and aggressive between the two sides late, as in the sixty-eighth minute, Brilla keeper Jordan Bell was assessed a yellow for time wasting, and he was livid, almost warranting a red card. Two minutes after, Jonny Evans subbed on for Todd Fidler, who had suffered an ankle injury early, but decided to play through the pain. In the seventy-third minute, the tides seemed to shift into MOBA's favor. Still facing a 1-0 deficit, Bader Boulajoul took down Matthew Wooling near midfield with his spikes up, and Boulajoul was sent off with a red card. Having received a massive break, MOBA needed to take advantage of their one man lead, but that proved difficult. In an attempt to change things up because of the red, Volker Harms made yet another sub, this time bringing on Geinner Duque for, surprisingly, Auston Bueno, who seemed to have something going on mentally that was hurting his playing. MOBA could get nothing going despite the sub, with every attack fizzling out to goal kick or clearance. As time ticked down, Peachtree City was desperate to get even, however Mississippi put the final dagger in hard. Off a free kick in the eighty-sixth minute, Nicco Mastrangelo headed it beautifully to the near post, and Will Meyer had no chance. Now down 2-0, Peachtree City saw little life left in the match, and things escalated quickly. After a Brilla attack ended in a MOBA clearance, Michael Brezovsky took offense to something that occurred, and a Brilla player wound up on the ground. Brezovsky was given a red card, and Brilla were awarded a penalty kick. The following penalty was saved beautifully by Meyer (his second penalty save of the year), but it proved to be consolation in a lopsided match. The final whistle blew after four minutes of stoppage time, and MOBA fell for the second time in three matches.
With just eleven regular season games remaining, Peachtree City need to work out whatever issues they are having as soon as possible and get back on their feet, and that will be put to the test in their next two matches. On Wednesday, MOBA have a chance to get back on their feet with no repercussions as the take on NPSL side Atlanta Silverbacks. The Silverbacks have been one of the best teams in the NPSL side this year, but MOBA will need a win at home to get back to winning form following their early season struggles. After that, they host Nashville SC U23 June 3rd in a much anticipated rematch as they hope to get revenge against the side that embarrassed them in the season opener. Tickets for both matches are available at MOBASoccer.com/tickets.