Match Recap: Brezovsky Plays Hero, MOBA Knock off Nashville SC U23 3-2

Nobody ever said winning would be easy. Following a below par 0-6-1 start for Peachtree City MOBA, the yellow and black found themselves back in Nashville against a team that had outscored them 8-2 in their first two matchups. If MOBA hoped to have any shot against a dominant Nashville SC team, they were going to need to pull out every trick they could.

The match started out heavily in favor of the U23's, as they dominated the attack and possession of the first three minutes. Despite the quick start, the MOBA defense, spearheaded by second-year players Adam Sheikali and Salomon Lorenzano, successfully held Nashville at bay while the offense got their feet beneath them. As the first few minutes ticked by, Peachtree City began to claw back into the match and pose a threat to Nashville keeper William Pyle. It was Nashville who got the first big chance for either team, however, when Blake Wilson nearly opened the scoring in the seventh minute, however Daniel Olaniran made an expert sliding tackle to stop the run, and Nick Nelson saved Wilson's desperation shot. MOBA got back on the attack, threatening just moments later with a free kick near the far corner, however the cross was headed out by a Nashville defender. Ten minutes later, it was MOBA who opened the scoring. After a promising run, Khallil Stewart was tripped up by Tanner Dietrich twenty yards from the net, and free kick specialist Matthew Wooling stepped up to take the ensuing free kick. Wooling, who has shown strokes of potential from dead ball situations to score, took an incredible left-footed rip, but it nailed the crossbar and shot into the air. Despite the failed free kick, Pyle was caught breathing, and Todd Fidler charged in and headed the ball into the net for his first goal of the season, and MOBA took their first lead of the 2017 campaign. At long last, MOBA had scored in the first half and took the lead, and they did not plan to sit back and bask in the glory. They wanted more. Just minutes later, it was Peachtree City who were on the attack again. After Fidler took a strong run into the corner, he looked up and found Wooling who had found great position inside the box. Wooling took one touch to secure the ball, turned his body, and used his next touch to rip the ball into the far corner of the net. After having never led in a match this season, MOBA now found themselves up two on a team that have only experienced victory at home, and it was without question that Nashville wanted revenge. After MOBA continued to threaten for a possible third goal, Nashville took advantage of their first opportunity, as Martim Galvao expertly placed the ball far post and past Nick Nelson, and Galvao cut the lead to one with his fifth goal of the year. After Galvao threatened once again just two minutes later, he drilled his free kick into the wall, and the squads went into the half with Peachtree City leading for the first time in 2017.

Leading is uncharted territory for this Peachtree City team, and they needed to keep their cool and continue to fight if they hoped to be leading at the end of ninety. The second half whistle blew, and MOBA were on the attack immediately looking for a third. With Khallil Stewart heading the charge in the second forty-five, MOBA could not find a third early on through the boots of the Jamaican International. Fifteen minutes into the second half, Nashville were able to even things up. After Lorenzano nearly broke up an attack from Logan Paynter, Paynter immediately took the ball back and played it expertly forward to the feet of Fletcher Ekern who tapped the ball past Nelson, and the match was knotted at two. Having lost a two-goal lead, MOBA needed to stay calm and stay strong, and Nashville showed no sign of letting up. After Daniel Olaniran lost the ball near midfield, Ekern found the ball at his boots again and immediately charged at Nelson. Once he was inside the box, he put his full right foot behind the ball and drilled it toward the MOBA net, but Nelson stood his ground and saved the ball beautifully over the crossbar and sent it out for a corner, which was broken up by Lorenzano. More and more time passed, and both sides continued to pressure each other with neither finding a third goal for their tally, that is, until Joe Kerriage picked up his second yellow of the match. After Kerriage was sent off the pitch, and MOBA held a one-man advantage, Lorenzano stepped up to end things. Taking the free kick from fifty yards out, Lorenzano crossed it perfectly to the head of defender Michael Brezovsky, and he headed the ball straight into the air before Pyle could get his hands to it. With Pyle off his line by several yards, their was nobody standing in the goal, and Brezovsky's sky-high header bounced on the line and into the corner of the net, and MOBA found themselves back on top. The minutes ticked by, and Nashville picked up the pressure. Coming after MOBA on every possible opportunity, the MOBA defense did exactly what they were called to do. Heading into stoppage time, MOBA were staring their first win of 2017 in the eyes, and it nearly cost them. In a last chance effort to find the net, Kyle McLogan beat every Peachtree City defender before meeting Nelson. Going after the ball, Nelson wound up tackling McLogan instead, and Nashville were awarded the penalty. Every single MOBA heart was shattered, and now it was up to Nick Nelson to preserve the win. Standing over the ball, Ekern looked to net his second of the match and steal two points away from Peachtree City. The entire stadium held its breath, and Ekern made his run. Nelson dove to his right, and Ekern had him beat, however the goal posts are one foot lower than Ekern needed them. The ball drilled the crossbar and flew out of bounds, and MOBA became the first team in history to defeat Nashville SC at home in a shocking 3-2 victory.

In what proved to be the most exciting match of 2017, Peachtree City got their first PDL victory in 364 days and their first road victory since June 3rd, 2016 in Statesboro. It did not come without discipline, however, as thirteen yellow cards were issued throughout the match, along with a red card to Nashville. MOBA could not care less about the discipline record, though, as they finally showed the PDL they can compete. Recording their first pure multi-goal match, their first goal in the first half, and a season-high three goals in ninety minutes, everything came together for the yellow and black in Nashville. Todd Fidler and Michael Brezovsky picked up their first goals of the season, and Matthew Wooling recorded his team-high second of 2017, tying him with Edmundo Robinson for the lead. MOBA will hope to carry their new found momentum across state lines, as they travel to South Carolina on June 24th to do battle with an SC United team that stole victory late in Peachtree City just one week ago. That result will be fresh in the minds of the MOBA men, and they will no doubt be out for revenge.

#MOBAProud

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