In a match that never ceased to excite, the Otters found themselves on the losing side of a 4-3 score line to Mississippi Brilla. After being tied 2-2 at halftime, Brilla scored two unanswered goals. A goal by the Otters with ten minutes to go set up for an exciting finish, and the Otters had a few chances but ultimately could not get the equalizer, losing a tight one in their home opener.
The first few minutes of the match saw the Otters pressing out of their new 4-1-4-1 formation. The first chance of the match came when goalkeeper Torge Wiedenroth (Reinhardt) caught a ball in the box and immediately threw a ball out to Raphael Campos (Palm Beach Atlantic) to start the counterattack. Campos got the ball to Mehdi Chtara (France) whose shot was just saved by the Brilla goalkeeper.
Brilla settled in after that and worked some chances of their own. They nearly got on the board in the 11th minute after a superb free kick was headed to the bottom corner before Torge was able to push it wide for a corner.
Just four minutes later, pressure by Campos forced a turnover in Brilla territory. He got the ball to forward Guillermo Segovia (Ohio Valley), who raced past the lone defender and beat the goalkeeper 1-v-1 for a 1-0 Otters lead!
Brilla continued to create chances, but the defense and Torge were up to the task, stifling attacks. Brilla eventually equalized in the 34th minute after a Brilla attacker was able to just poke a ball past Wiedenroth.
The tie did not last long, as the Otters went on the attack again. After a shot by Chtara went off the post just minutes earlier, a ball found it’s way to the feet of Oscar Perez (Wingate) outside of the box. He hit a rocket that left the Brilla goalkeeper rooted to the ground, and put the Otters up 2-1 late in the half. That lead was also short-lived, as Brilla equalized just before the halftime whistle, with a tough finish over Wiedenroth.
The Otters got off to a hot start, with Chtara and Jeremy De Hoog (Rio Grande) both getting chances on frame in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. The next ten minutes were all Brilla though, with them scoring a goal off of a corner kick and another off of a breakaway to push the score to 4-2 with twenty minutes to go.
The Otters did not quit though, and in the 80th minute Segovia got loose and was able to get past the keeper for his second goal of the night.
From that point on the Otters threw numbers forward and almost drew level off of an Henrique Devens (Tusculum) volley. The best opportunity to equalize came in stoppage time when a long throw-in by Blake Barribeau (Palm Beach Atlantic) went off several Otters’ heads but the goalkeeper just got to the shot to keep things at 4-3 at the final whistle.
After Friday night’s high scoring affair, the Otters have now scored three goals in a game on three separate occasions this season, and have already equaled last year’s goal total. The team also recorded 14 shots on Friday, tied for their second highest in a game in franchise history.
Guillermo Segovia’s second brace of the season pushed his goal total to five this season and also moved him into second all-time in both goals and points for the club.
The Otters will be back at Kermit-Tipton Stadium on Tuesday to face the Carolina Dynamo after last month’s 3-3 thriller in Greensboro. Tickets are available online at http://www.ottersoccer.com/2018-game-tickets/ or by using the HappsNow app! Follow us on social media for other team updates throughout the season and for in-game updates on matchday! #FearTheFur