Match Preview: Peachtree City Look for Back-to-Back Victories Against SC United
At long last, it has finally happened. Peachtree City MOBA were able to close out Wednesday's match against Nashville SC U23 stronger than any match in the past and steal three points on the road against the second-place team in the division. The victory not only marked Peachtree City's first PDL win since June 22nd of 2016, but it was also the first time that MOBA have defeated Nashville following 6-1 and 2-1 defeats. Going into the final six matches of the season, MOBA hope to carry this new found momentum into South Carolina as they take on an SC United Bantams that came out on top in the last meeting thanks to a late stoppage time winner from Terell Williamson.
Heading into Nashville on a seven-match winless streak which featured four one-goal losses, Peachtree City needed to get things turned around in a hurry, but facing a team that had beaten them in the previous two matches without their leading goal scorer in Edmundo Robinson was going to be a tall order. The match started out strong in favor of Peachtree City, however, as Todd Fidler got the visitors on the board first via a headed effort after Matthew Wooling's free kick hit the crossbar. Wooling then added a second off a Fidler assist, and MOBA found themselves on top for the first time all season. Martim Galvao pulled one back for the home team a few minutes later, but nonetheless Peachtree City went into the break up 2-1. Nashville were able to equalize fifteen minutes after halftime, however, as Fletcher Ekern was able to finish at very close range. After twenty minutes of heavy back and forth, it was MOBA who were able to get on top, as Nashville's Joe Kerriage pulled down Khallil Stewart on a run, and he was issued his second yellow card of the match and was sent off. Salomon Lorenzano stepped up to take the free kick, placing it perfectly at the head of center back Michael Brezovsky who headed it straight up into the air right before keeper William Pyle could get to it. With Pyle's momentum carrying him toward the midfield, nobody was standing in goal, and the ball bounced across the line and into the corner of the net. With MOBA up 3-2 late in the ninety, Nashville nearly equalized deep in stoppage time, as Kyle McLogan was taken down in the box by Nick Nelson, and Ekern stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick. With all the odds against Peachtree City, the forces of soccer bestowed a blessing on the Georgians, as Ekern drilled his penalty off the crossbar, and Nashville fell at home for the first time in franchise history at the hands of the previously winless Peachtree City MOBA. There were a lot of positives about that matchup, but the most notable was the way the team played. In the previous seven matches, things seemed very broken and disoriented among the MOBA eleven, however this time was different. Whether it be something that changed during training, or the fact that MOBA were just tired of losing, the players really came together and played for each other, and that was visible throughout the match. Right after halftime, the Peachtree City players were seen doing a synchronized warmup, and even thought that may not have seemed like much at the time, it spoke volumes for the comradery that was growing among the team.
SC United started the season out very strong, as they won two of their first three matches, but since they have seen a remarkable drop in form. Over the last six matches, the Bantams have gone 1-2-3, with their lone victory coming in Peachtree City. Three of those six matches have been at home, including both losses, however the Bantams still find themselves sitting fifth on the division table with twelve points. A playoff team a year ago, it is without question that SC United hoped to have the same success in 2017, but with the top two spots in the division eight points away with five remaining matches, things look bleak for the Bantams. During their final matches, they do not play any teams in a higher position than seventh, and that lack of say in what happens at the top of the table could be detrimental to their playoff hopes.
Keys to Victory
- Keep up the Pressure: The momentum gained on Wednesday was huge for this Peachtree City team, and they will need to keep it going against an SC United team that is desperate for a win. A key part of the reason that MOBA won lies in the fact that they were threatening the goal all night long, and they will need to keep that if they hope to pierce a strong SC United defense.
- Keep Focused: Winning is great, and winning multiple games will do wonders for the confidence of this MOBA side, however they will need to keep their minds focused on the match they are in. Teams lose all the time following wins because they get caught up in what they can do in the future. Keep your mind on the opponent at hand and play against them, not the schedule.
Kickoff for Saturday's match in Columbia is schedule for 7:00 PM. There is not expected to be a livestream, so the best way to follow the match will be via the SC United Twitter. Peachtree City were finally able to pull themselves back into the pack with a win, and they will need to keep up the effort if they hope to find themselves mid-table at the end of the season. The path is not easy, but if MOBA can play the way they did in Nashville, they will no doubt be able to accomplish the feat.