Match Recap: Early Goal Proves to be Winner as MOBA fall to Tri-Cities 1-0
It has not been the best season for Peachtree City thus far. Heading into Johnson City following a 2-1 home loss against Nashville SC, MOBA needed three points desperately if they hoped to have a shot at making the playoffs. Scoring goals has been a struggle for Peachtree City, and that would need to change if they hoped to steal victory in Johnson City.
Pressure off the opening whistle was essential for MOBA in their quest for three points, and that went out the window quickly. Right off the bat, the Otters were on the offensive, and just a couple minutes in, Tri-Cities saw a corner and capitalized. Winger Conner Haney stepped up to take the corner, crossing the ball perfectly into the box, where center-back Sam Jenkins headed it home and put the Otters up one. For the fifth time this season, MOBA saw themselves down a goal in the first half and needed to find some way to retaliate, and even that proved to be a struggle for the yellow and black. Following the goal, the Otters continued their relentless attack, as Alex Mitrovic and Guillermo Deal pressed hard, taking a number of shots and forcing keeper Will Meyer to stay busy. Late in the first half, Deal saw a shot go into the net that would have extended the lead to two, however it was waved off as Meyer was intruded with in his attempt to save it. The whistle blew, and MOBA were down at the half again, this time by a score of 1-0.
Deficits are not uncharted territory for Peachtree City, as they have trailed after forty-five in every game they have played. This time, however, things were a bit different. Despite trailing, Peachtree City actually looked to be playing decently in three of their previous four matches. This time around, everything felt out of order. As the second half opened, MOBA seemed a better side, but not good enough. Peachtree City were able to make some attacks during the second half, but Torge Wiedenroth seemed a brick wall in the Otter net. The Otters did keep up their side of the attack however, as Deal and Charlie Machell led the strikes in the second half for Tri-Cities. Despite the heavy pressure, Will Meyer did his best in goal, keeping the Otters out for the full forty-five with some solid saves. Neither side was able to score during the second half, and the match ended 1-0 toward the Otters. MOBA fall to 0-4-1 on the season with their third straight defeat, and Tri-Cities pick up their first three points of the year and now sit at 1-3-0. The two sides now take different seats on the table, with MOBA falling down to eleventh with just one point, and the Otters leaping over both MOBA and Tormenta FC to now occupy ninth with three points.
One thing has become very clear following this loss: goal scoring isn't just an issue, it is a plague. Having completed five matches, Peachtree City have only scored three goals, and have been shut out twice. The defensive efforts for MOBA are not in question, as goals allowed have been reduced significantly since opening day, however goals for have not seen any improvement. Last year, Peachtree City had the same issue, with the team struggling to score for the whole season up until Todd Fidler entered the lineup, as they scored four in their final two matches. This year, however, has seen the issue get worse. Even with Fidler in the starting eleven, alongside great talents like Khallil Stewart and Daniel Valenciano, MOBA cannot seem to find an answer. At this point, the playbook and training plans just need to be scrapped. Training needs to be centered around scoring, and scoring alone. Possession in the final third and shooting have been prodigious issues, and they both need to be addressed immediately. Peachtree City have some time to prepare before their next matchup, as they take on SC United in the I-20 Derby on June 13th at home. Tickets for the matchup are available at MOBASoccer.com/tickets, and despite the struggles, I recommend you get your tickets, as something tells me their will finally be some scoring, and what better place to do it than at home, in front of the Peachtree City supporters and the dancing stadium lights.