by Russell Cooks
The Charlotte Eagles barely squeaked by Peachtree City MOBA 1-0. A game that was dubbed as David (MOBA) versus Goliath (Charlotte Eagles) turned out the be MOBA’s best match of the season. The win moved Charlotte to 8-2, and they remained in first place in the South Atlantic Division. The loss dropped MOBA to 3-6, and they remained in sixth place in the division.
The game started out as a defensive battle. Nine minutes had elapsed before there was a shot on goal, Charlotte taking the first attempt at the 9:10 mark.
MOBA’s defense was so effective that the Eagles utilized a reset strategy several times early in the game. They were not able to penetrate MOBA’s defense, so they would kick the ball back to their goalkeeper and start over.
At the 12:30 mark, MOBA penetrated the Charlotte goal line, but the kick went over the goal.
There were a few shots on goal by both teams, but no one could convert the shots into a score. At the 36:58 mark, Marco Micaletto scored to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
MOBA immediately took their offensive game to another level. Bryson Asher kicked a laser at the 40:05 mark, but it was wide right.
Asher was knocked down by a Charlotte player to setup a penalty shot, but the Eagles were able to hold off MOBA to preserve a 1-0 halftime lead.
MOBA goalkeeper Luke Oesterle made several outstanding saves in the second half to go with a save in the first half.
Most of the second half was an intense offensive battle that saw each team pressing the other on the highest level.
Iain Smith had a breakaway shot on goal, but it was blocked by the Charlotte goalkeeper. A few minutes later, it was Smith again with a shimmy move on the goalkeeper, but the ball rolled down the goal line then careened back into the field of play. This was the second time in two games that a similar situation happened to MOBA.
At the 83:45 mark, it was Smith with another breakaway shot, but it went over the goal. There were several scoring attempts by MOBA, but each of them came up short.
This was perhaps MOBA’s best home performance. They controlled field position and played with a sense of urgency the entire second half, while also taking more shots on goal in the 1-0 loss.
MOBA head coach Jordan Davis said, “Charlotte has a lot of talent, and that is why they lead our division. However, we had several shots in the second half, and we should have walked away with something.”