Mississippi Brilla FC coach Mark McKeever made a few key adjustments to his starting lineup on Tuesday and the newcomers did not disappoint. Striker Junior Chavez earned his first start of the season, after playing sparingly through the first month of the season. Chavez wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity.
Just 4 minutes into the match, Chavez pressured the Memphis goalkeeper, Victor Hoestbo, and forced his clearance to deflect off of his back and into the net. The hustle resulted in an early 1-0 lead for the home team.
In the 40th minute, Brilla defender Jordan Skelton smashed a header up the field that got Chavez in behind the Memphis back line. He was able to hold off his defender and slot the ball into the net for his second goal of the half.
Brilla added to its lead in the final minute of the first half when winger Bastien Oberli slid a ball across the front of the goal where Chavez was charging in hoping to earn his hat trick in the first half. However, Memphis defender Andy Forrest slid in front of the pass and knocked the ball into his own net. The own goal gave Brilla a commanding 3-0 lead at the break.
Chavez was determined to bag his third goal of the night and got his chance in the 61st minute. After stealing a ball in the attacking third, Chavez created his own opportunity by darting through the back line for a 1v1 with the Memphis 2nd half goalkeeper, Christian Knight. Knight had little choice other than fouling Chavez in the box, and the result was a penalty kick for Brilla. Chavez earned the right to attempt the penalty, and buried his kick from the mark with a convincing blast into the top of the net. His hat trick gave Brilla a 4-0 lead.
Brilla continued dominating the match, leading the shots taken category by a 15-3 margin, but Memphis City FC was able to get on the scoreboard in the 76th minute by converting a penalty kick of their own. The 4-1 final tally moved Brilla to 3-1-2 (11 points) while Memphis City FC fell to 0-4-1 (1 point).
Brilla hits the road this weekend for a match on Friday against the Tri-City Otters in Johnson City, TN and another match against Memphis on Sunday in Memphis, TN. Brilla’s next home match is scheduled for Saturday, June 16.