Match Recap: MOBA-Tormenta Draw 2-2 on Opening Day
Match one is officially in the books. After ten months of waiting, Peachtree City MOBA have officially kicked off their 2018 PDL campaign as founding members of the Deep South Division, and neutrals could hardly have asked for a better opener. A series that has seen a lot over the last two years, the first match of 2018 certainly added to the dynasty that the Georgia PDL Clásico has created in its young history.
The starting eleven for Peachtree City featured some of their biggest signings of the off-season, as Dean Foster, Gus Fidler, Jerry Wiltshire, and Tyler Hudson all got the nod from manager Omar Jarun. Things got off to a quick start for both sides as chances were coming across the pitch. Goalkeeper Jack Hudson came up big for MOBA in the early going as he tallied three huge saves in just five minutes to keep the score level. That only held for a moment, however, as it was Cadu Casatis who got on the end of a brilliant through ball from Nick Wells and slotted in the first goal of the season for Tormenta FC. As MOBA found themselves down a goal early, things had a chance to get out of hand, but MOBA did well to stay composed and attack immediately, as off the ensuing kickoff, Peachtree City's Chris Davis made a fantastic sixty yard run down the sideline, pushing the ball into the box before being taken down, and MOBA were awarded a penalty. With an opportunity to equalize, it was the South African Dean Foster who just powered it past Pablo Jarra and leveled the score at one. The half came to a close at 1-1, but the excitement was ever present for the MOBA fans.
As the second half got underway, things could not have gotten off to a better start for the home side. Just four minutes in, Foster got on the end of a long clearance down the field, collected the ball at his feet and immediately started his run at the keeper, pushing just a yard from the end line before going low and across the frame of goal, beating Jarra for the second time on the night. With the goal, Foster became just the third MOBA player to score two goals in a match, and the first since Todd Fidler did it against Tormenta on July 13th, 2016. Things were looking good at The Academy for the first time in recent memory, but on sixty-two minutes, Tormenta got the final say as a hand ball in the box awarded the visitors a penalty, and Manolo Sanchez buried it to bring things back level. The final few minutes of the match saw a number of Tormenta chances, but Jack Hudson finished off a strong showing in goal with a late save to keep the final scoreline at two all.
While a draw was not necessarily the result Peachtree City fans would have wanted, there are a lot of positives to take away from the match. For one, the attack certainly seems to have gotten off to a great start, with Dean Foster showing what makes him so special. Without counting the penalty, Jarun's defense stood strong the entire match, especially so after the opening goal. The goalkeeping situation definitely seems to be showing some life, as Jack Hudson played very well in his first full match in goal. Overall, the product on the pitch has significantly improved since last season, and the fan support was phenomenal. The next big test comes May 19th, as MOBA play host to Birmingham Hammers in the first match between the two sides. Birmingham kick off their season on Wednesday when they host Memphis City.