Match Recap: Winless Streak Continues, MOBA fall to Nashville SC U23 2-1
When things don't go your way, it hurts even the best of us. When things don't go your way for four weeks, it just might kill us. Following a dismal first three games of the season where MOBA only recorded one point and two losses, Peachtree City needed a win badly, however the schedule did not favor them. Facing the team that put six goals past MOBA in the season opener, Peachtree City needed to pull out all the tricks if they hoped to have even a chance against the perfect Nashville SC U23 side.
Things got off to a good start in Peachtree City, as the weather cleared up, the fans packed in, and the first whistle blew. MOBA and Nashville battled early for possession, with neither team seeing any real chances. The first real breakthrough for either squad came in the tenth minute, as MOBA midfielder Matthew Wooling took a rip from outside the box, and the Nashville keeper made a diving save and deflected the ball back into play. Things began to shift toward the U23's quickly, as the pressure picked up and Nashville started threatening. MOBA held their own for a solid ten minutes, but it just wasn't enough to stop the train that is Nashville SC. Off a corner in the twenty-second minute, Nashville played the ball in beautifully, but keeper Will Meyer punched the ball out. It was just MOBA's luck that the ball rolled right to Patrick Nielsen, who just tapped the ball into the net, and Nashville went up 1-0. Once again, Peachtree City found themselves down early and needed to find some way to retaliate. The minutes ticked by, and MOBA just could not find any shots on goal. Tempers began to flare, and after Daniel Valenciano was taken down on a slide tackle near midfield, Valenciano let his emotions get the best of him, and he flailed his leg into the Nashville midfielder. Valenciano received a yellow card, and Nashville got a free kick. Shortly there after, on a Nashville attack, a ball was played high, and Todd Fidler found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. During his attempt to head the ball out of the danger area, Fidler let his arm get outstretched, and the ball struck him in the hand. The referee awarded the penalty kick, and Nashville star Martim Galvao took the opportunity and slotted home the ball to make it 2-0 Nashville. The halftime whistle blew, and Peachtree City found themselves in a hole for the fourth time this year.
It goes without question that something had to change. Somebody was going to have to step up and lead, and after a rough opening forty-five minutes, who that would be was still anybody's guess. MOBA definitely picked up the attack in the first few minutes, as Wooling, Valenciano, and Stewart all had shots that were either saved or went wide. Time continued to pass, and a loss became more and more real to the MOBA squad. After a controversial foul at the edge of the box in the sixtieth minute, Nashville were awarded the free kick in a dangerous center position, and the subsequent shot drilled the cross bar and went out, to the relief of the Peachtree City supporters. A few minutes later, MOBA saw some light. After a MOBA corner yielded little gain, Matthew Wooling laid the ball of to Khallil Stewart, who took a cheeky side step and shot from fifteen yards out. The ball deflected off of Nashville's Brad Ross and sailed into the net, as MOBA scored their first league home goal, and cut the deficit to one. As if a goal wasn't enough to potentially boost MOBA's hopes, Nashville's #8 Alex Stoiljkovic, in an attempt to intercept the ball, kicked MOBA's Edmundo Robinson in the head area, and he received a second yellow card and was ejected from the match. Now up a man, Peachtree City needed to capitalize, but history did not breathe good omens. During the Mississippi Brilla FC match, Brilla received a red card in the second half as they were up by one, but MOBA failed to equalize and subsequently lost 2-0. This time MOBA needed to take advantage. Following the red card, all of the attacks were going MOBA's way, as they took a number of shots that just could not find the net. Valenciano, Wooling, Fidler, Adabale, and Palmer all had shots that would have gone in any other day, but this time, it just would not go MOBA's way. The final whistle blew, and MOBA went into the locker room with their third loss in four matches and without a win on the year.
This season has been the opposite of what MOBA wanted coming into 2017, and they need to get things turned around quickly. Staring down the barrel of a second straight losing season, goals and wins need to come fast and in bunches. On Tuesday, June 6th, MOBA head to Johnson City, Tennessee to face off with the only team they swept last year in Tri-Cities Otters FC, and MOBA will need to do the same thing this year if they hope to get back on track. Tri-Cities is the only team beneath MOBA in the division table, and hopefully it will stay that way. Following that match, MOBA return home to take on SC United Bantams, followed by another road match against Tri-Cities.