Match Recap: Fidler Equalizes in Stoppage Time, MOBA Steal a Point in Clinton

Any chance the Avenue has room for a statue of Todd Fidler? Going into Saturday's matchup with Mississippi Brilla FC, MOBA found themselves on a high after winning two of their last three matches in dramatic fashion. Goals were finally beginning to come for the MOBA offense, and the defense was doing just enough to keep the opposition at bay. Facing a Brilla team that average 0.78 goals allowed per game would, however, be a tough draw for any team, but MOBA had the confidence they needed to get a result.

Following an hour long weather delay, the match could not have started off any worse for MOBA, as Andre DeGiorgi put the home side up almost immediately with a brilliant goal in the opening five minutes. Things calmed down offensively afterwards, but Brilla were still dominating possession and chances in the early going. Any opportunities that MOBA found themselves with were broken up, and all the pressure was on the defense to keep things within arms reach. MOBA's first half scoring struggles continued, however, as they failed to score again in the first half for the tenth time this season. On the other side of the ball, the MOBA defense put on a show in the final forty minutes, as goalkeeper Luke Oesterle and the back four managed to stay composed despite an early goal, and the two sides went into the break with Brilla on top 1-0.

MOBA found themselves down a goal at the half on Tuesday, as well, when they came back brilliantly in the second half to top Tri-Cities 2-1 at home. Being on the road against one of the top teams in the Southern Conference is a different monster, however, and Omar Jarun was going to have to fire up his troops if they wanted to get a result. Coming out of the locker room, it was more of the same. The rain playing a large role in the proceedings just as it did in Peachtree City, MOBA struggled to get themselves on the front foot early in the first half. Brilla continued to threaten the MOBA goal, with a number of chances either hitting the crossbar or being called offside. The MOBA defense continued to do its job, however, as they stood tall in the box and fought off the heavy pressure. Offense continued to be a struggle, as runs into the box were few and far between, and any good attacks were short lived. The final quarter of an hour approached, and Jarun need to make some changes. Bringing on Chris Avery for Michael Brezovsky in the seventy-fourth minute proved an excellent choice, as Avery, who was playing his first match since the friendly against the Atlanta Silverbacks back in May, made an immediate impact, pushing Brilla attackers aside and backing up Daniel Olaniran who had played an excellent match up to this point. With minutes continuing to pass and no equalizer in sight, Jarun made one of the strangest choices of the season, and it nearly paid dividends immediately. With limited choices left on the bench, Jarun decided to have goalkeeper Nick Nelson put on the #17 jersey and sub on for Daniel Shaw in the midfield. Having started a few matches of late in goal before being replaced by Oesterle, the Jamaican international nearly equalized just three minutes after his coming on, as he charged down the field on a counter attack and took the ball from Victor Forti at the top of the box, but his run was broken apart by an excellent slide tackle from Brilla's Jordan Skelton. Stoppage time arrived, and the loss seemed nearly unavoidable, but Todd Fidler, who had been quiet all night, wanted to make it presence felt. After Daniel Olaniran made an incredible tackle to stop a dangerous Brilla attack from Badreddine Boulajoul, Boulajoul had to come off in favor of Josh Palm, who was making his first appearance for Mississippi. The ensuing corner was broken up by the MOBA defense, and Oesterle immediately got his players on the run. Peachtree City seemed adamant on finding their equalizer, as the ball stuck in and around the final third, and at long last Peachtree City seemed a serious threat to the net. Just moments later, after successfully pulling the Brilla defenders away from the goal, substitute Auston Bueno played a beautiful ball up toward Olaniran, who touched it over the head of the Brilla defender and right to the feet of Todd Fidler. Despite a very quiet night, Fidler proved once again why he is the Peachtree City MOBA all-time leading scorer. Using just one touch on the run, Fidler struck the ball to the far post, giving Francis Monongo absolutely no chance to save it. Despite being dominated on possession all night long, all it took was one touch for MOBA to equalize, as Fidler scored his record-tying third goal of the season and club record fifth goal of his career, and MOBA stole a point on the road four minutes into stoppage time.

Any result against Mississippi Brilla FC was a win, a tie included, and MOBA did just what they needed to do to perform the unexpected. Heading back home for the final three matches of the campaign, MOBA find themselves in ninth place in the division, leading Wilmington Hammerheads FC by three goals. The beginning of the season was one to forget, but in their last four matches, MOBA are 2-1-1, and three of those matches were on the road. Facing in-state rivals South Georgia Tormenta FC on Monday, July 3rd, MOBA are in an excellent place to keep things rolling. Tormenta lost on Friday on the road in Tri-Cities, however prior to that they won three straight, including two 4-0 wins against SC United. Three points will not be easy to come by against South Georgia, but playing at home is sure to give MOBA the upper hand against their bitter rivals. Tickets for Monday's match are available at MOBASoccer.com/tickets.

#MOBAProud

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