Three games into a four game season series, Mississippi Brilla FC and the Birmingham Hammers each had a win and also a draw in the series. Saturday’s “rubber match” in Clinton would decide the winner of the season series. Another hard fought battle between two evenly matched teams eventually went the way of the home team with Brilla pulling out a 3-1 victory.
The Hammers saw the majority of possession early on, but it was Brilla who struck first in the 12th minute. Ruben Sanchez played a perfect ball through to Napo Matsoso who finished the job by slotting the ball into the corner of the net past the Hammers goalkeeper, Luke Wilson.
The 1-0 lead was short lived as the Hammers answered in the 18th minute. Jacob Farthing got on the end of a Hammers set piece deep in Brilla territory, but Brilla’s Jordan Bell was able to make the initial save. Farthing was able to follow up his own shot and knock the ball into the net from close range to even the score at 1-1.
The back and forth game swung in Brilla’s favor just 5 minutes later when Bastien Oberli served a ball into the penalty area that went off the raised hand of a Hammers’ defender. The referee awarded the penalty kick, and Jordan Skelton buried the chance to give Brilla the 2-1 advantage. Skelton is a perfect 3 for 3 on penalty kicks this season, each of them coming in the last 2 games.
After going into the halftime break up 2-1, Brilla came out with much more intensity to start the second half. However, there was nothing to show for it until the last kick of the game. Rich Bryan got the ball on the end line trying to run out the clock, but he was able to dribble a couple of defenders and slot the ball to Ali Brador. Brador connected to blast the ball high into the net. Before Brilla could even celebrate the referee ended the match with three whistles, and the home side then celebrated a 3-1 win.
Brilla moved to 6-1-2 (20 points) on the season while the Hammers fall to 2-2-2 (8 points). Brilla has a little time off before taking an East Coast road trip to Peachtree City MOBA and South Carolina United Bantams. Their next home match is scheduled for July 7.