Match Recap: Peachtree City Extend Unbeaten Streak to Three Matches
It wasn't the result anybody really wanted, nor what the team needed, and it certainly makes things more difficult going forward, but it was a bit historic nonetheless. Coming off a win and a draw against Memphis City FC, MOBA really needed a win to keep playoff aspirations in reach. A draw would not make the playoffs impossible, but it certainly was not going to help. Going up against Mississippi, however, was no easy task, as they rode a six-match unbeaten streak and four-match winning streak into the meeting, but Peachtree City were determined to get something from the game.
Things got off to a dream start for MOBA in the rain, as just two minutes into the match, Rashid Alarape found John Cozine with a great ball inside the eighteen, and Cozine coolly buried the shot to give MOBA the lead on the fastest goal in club history. The Yellow and Black rode that momentum for the remainder of the first half, and they very easily could have gotten a second goal at any point in the forty-five, however some very physical play from both sides kept either side from gaining any real momentum. MOBA dominated the possession, but Brilla kept coming back, and the ball stagnated around midfield. Konrad Dziedzic continued his great form, picking up two saves in the first half to surpass Will Meyer and become second all-time in saves with the club with twenty-seven, behind Luke Oesterle with fifty-five. The half ended how it started at 1-0, and both sides went to opposite sides of the park for half-time as power issues persisted following the storms earlier in the day.
Some second half changes saw a shift in strategy for MOBA, as Jerren Nixon came on to replace Chris Davis who suffered a head injury in the first half that was never dealt with by the referee. The MOBA defense was busy early in the second half, as Brilla amped up the pressure in search of an equalizer. In the fifty-fourth minute, Brilla's Gerber Chavez took the ball himself and made a run down the middle of the pitch before unloading a bullet that Dziedzic, though he got a hand to it, had no real chance of saving. Immediately after the restart, Zion Gray had a chance to give MOBA back the lead, but his curling effort from distance was saved by the Mississippi keeper. As the second half continued, that physicality crept its way back into the match, as both sides continued to go at each other, with the referee making a lot of calls that upset both sides. Neither side looked incredibly dangerous until the final ten minutes, when Brilla had a clear chance to take the lead, however some horrendous communication errors led to the visitor's shooting wide of a completely undefended goal. Minutes later, it was the second half subs for MOBA who made their voices heard, as Emgi Gousse connected with Jerren Nixon near the top of the eighteen, and Nixon, surrounded by defenders, just calmly placed a soft shot out of reach of the keeper to give MOBA the lead back with five minutes remaining. With seemingly all three points locked up, Brilla shocked everybody at The Academy when the Greek Georgios Charkoutsakis equalized again for the visitors. Things got nervy as the second half ended, and a collision in the box that saw Jerry Wiltshire collapse on the pitch resulted in the referee calling the ninety minutes.
In one of the most physical games MOBA has ever been a part of, thirty-one fouls were called throughout the match, with ten to fifteen going uncalled by the referee. Surprisingly, only three yellow cards were awarded throughout the game, as Tyler Hudson and Shawn Sanon picked up yellows for MOBA, and Oliver Brock got one for Brilla. Once again, a late 2-1 lead was given away at the death of the match, this being the third time MOBA have seen that result this season. Despite the negative appearance, MOBA have reached a new all-time points high with thirteen on the season, as well as new high for goals scored in a season with eighteen. John Cozine and Shawn Sanon both looked great for MOBA, with Konrad Dziedzic continuing to impress despite the two goals as MOBA extended their unbeaten streak to three matches, a club record. Going forward, things will be difficult for Peachtree City as they face Birmingham away and Tri-Cities at home before meeting Mississippi twice in Clinton to close the regular season.