Two southern soccer clubs took their time deciding a winner Tuesday evening as the host Georgia Revolution of the NPSL claimed a 1-0 decision over Mississippi Brilla of the PDL at the RYSL Soccerplex in Conyers, Georgia. After testing one another throughout, the goal would come in the 105th minute of the overtime affair.
The two clubs primarily played it safe in the early stages of the match, not committing too many men forward. However, the two keepers, Mississippi’s Phil Boerger and Georgia’s Zach Schultze, were forced to make saves during a fast-paced passage of play in the seventh minute. Boerger was called into service again two minutes later, and soon after would pluck a dangerous Revolution cross from midair.
Brilla, in their second tournament appearance, would only manage to create a handful of chances to score as the first half wore on, including a missed bicycle attempt. A more promising opportunity came in the 37th minute, as Chris Oeching and Filipe Silva combined for a clever play resulting in a Silva shot saved by Schultze.
The Revolution, making their Open Cup debut, had a similar number of chances in the opening 45, though one could argue Georgia’s chances were of better quality. Sean Grisham sent a header high after finding himself unmarked on the end of a well-placed cross. Grisham would get another opportunity to score as a series of headed balls at the top of the Brilla box culminated in a shot that was saved by Brilla’s Boerger.
The second half opened with three shining chances for Brilla FC to grab the first goal of the match, but all were dealt with by Schultze.
From that point on, play became a little more open than it had been in the first half. Georgia would have a dangerous loose ball situation in front of their goal, and Georgia’s Peter Vania received the match’s first yellow card as punishment for a late tackle.
The late stages of the second half proved just as open with each side having several opportunities to score. Brilla’s best opportunity came from a corner kick that was headed just wide, and Georgia’s Kwadwo Poku had a shot blocked inside the Brilla penalty area.
The first period of extra time was largely uneventful as both goalkeepers proved too much for either side’s attackers.
However, that all changed when Hailab Habtom, who had come on a substitute in the 62nd minute, broke the deadlock in the 105th minute with a well-placed header.
The second fifteen minutes of extra time were much livelier than the first, as Brilla FC pushed forward with all they had left in a desperate attempt to equalize. The Mississippi club would have numerous crosses and free kicks, but never really came close to the goal needed to survive.
The Georgia Revolution advance to the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, where they will host the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks. The match will take place on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
Georgia Revolution 1:0 ( AET) Mississippi Brilla
RYSL Soccerplex – Conyers, Georgia
GA: Hailab Habtom 105