Match Preview: In-State Rivals MOBA, Tormenta FC Set for First of Two in Peachtree City
Let's just put the first half of the season behind us. Looking at the second half by itself, MOBA have been on a roll through their last four, going 2-1-1 overall, including their first ever two-match unbeaten streak in team history. With victories on the road against Nashville SC and at home against Tri-Cities, as well as a draw on Saturday in Mississippi, MOBA find themselves in an excellent place, finally pulling off the bottom of the table, and hopefully it will stick. The road won't be easy, but MOBA are fueled up and ready to compete.
Heading into Clinton, Mississippi following a dramatic 2-1 home victory against Tri-Cities, MOBA knew they could get a result, but it would take the effort of the full roster to pull it out. Playing with just sixteen available men (one of which was head coach Omar Jarun, who was not expected to actually play), the starting lineup against Brilla was packed full of players who had not played much this season for MOBA, including names like Paul Milner, Isaac Walker, and Chris Avery. The match was delayed an hour due to thunderstorms, but when it did kickoff, the storms were not over. Just minutes into the match, it was Brilla who got off to a fast start as Andre DeGiorgi put the home side up one. Despite the early fireworks, the MOBA defense put on a show during the final eighty-eight minutes, with the story pretty much the same: Brilla dominated possession, but could not finish their chances and put MOBA out of the picture. At the end of the match, they would pay for not being able to close. After goalkeeper Nick Nelson subbed into the midfield in replacement of Daniel Shaw, the MOBA attack began to pick up almost immediately. Deep into stoppage time, MOBA were finally able to find their equalizer, as Daniel Olaniran touched the ball right to the feet of Todd Fidler who launched the ball to the far post and in. The final whistle blew moments later, and MOBA stole a rare point in Clinton. At long last, the schedule shows MOBA unbeaten in their last two, and heading back to Peachtree City for the final three matches, they will hope to continue their strong play.
South Georgia Tormenta FC are beginning to become the kings of late season success. After starting the year a dismal 1-2-4, Tormenta have begun to pick up the play, winning three straight in ten days, including two 4-0 wins against SC United. Tormenta slipped up on the road, however, as Tresor Mbuyu struck in the seventy-third minute, and Tri-Cities defeated Tormenta 1-0. Continuing their four-match road spell with two in Peachtree City, Tormenta will be desperate for a victory, as a loss would all but eliminate them from PDL Playoff contention. Should they fall in Peachtree City in either matchup, they will need Nashville SC to lose at least once, as well as needing North Carolina FC to defeat Charlotte Eagles just once, while Tobacco Road lose at least once to the two bottom-of-the-table teams. It is a lot to ask for Tormenta, so two wins in Peachtree City would be crucial in their hunt for post-season play.
Keys to Victory
- Defend the Final Third: Despite their early goal, MOBA did an outstanding job at keeping Brilla away from the net. Good defense lifts the pressure off your strikers to score every few minutes, so it will be essential to for MOBA to keep the strong Tormenta attack away from the goalkeeper.
- Early Lead: Tormenta, despite not scoring a ton of goals, have been an incredible second half scoring team, scoring fourteen of their twenty-one goals in the final forty-five. It will be essential for MOBA to get on top early at home, because if they leave the door open for Tormenta to get a lead, it may be all that their rivals need.
Kickoff at MOBA Soccer Academy is scheduled for 7:30 PM on Monday. Tickets for the rivalry matchup are available at MOBASoccer.com/tickets and will be available for purchase at the gate. MOBA have finally been able to get things going in their favor, and playing their last three at home could be huge in keeping that roll going. Speaking not just for MOBAProud.com, but also for everybody at MOBA Soccer Academy, we invite you to join us for some pre-July 4th soccer as we battle our most bitter rivals in what will no doubt be an exciting match.