MIDLAND, Tex. - Mississippi Brilla took the first game in Midland 1-0 on Thursday, and the Midland/Odessa Sockers returned the favor with a 1-0 victory on Saturday. Brilla moves to 2-1 on the young season while the Sockers end the weekend with a 3-1 record.
From the outset, it was apparent that the home team felt the game was a “must-win” early in the season. The Sockers were not interested in dropping two early contests at home to the defending division champions from Mississippi. The team pressed high for an early strike but the visitors held the match scoreless through the first half.
Regardless of the scoreboard, the first half did not lack drama. In the 21’ the referees apparently saw lightning in the distance and cleared the field, sending the teams to their locker rooms. However, after collaborating, the referees stopped the teams from leaving and continued the game. The brief delay did not stop the pressure from the home team as they continued creating scoring chances led by their striker Randolph Tamba.
Midland received more good news with about 12 minutes left in the half when Ianis Ghachem was shown a second caution following his second foul of the match. The two cautions reduced Brilla to 10 men for the remainder of the match.
The Sockers continued pressing to open the second half and finally got the goal they were looking for in the 52nd minute. Jade Mesias’ corner kick found the head of Bruno Almeida to give the home team the lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Brilla attempted to throw together an attack late in the match to earn the equalizer, but the one goal difference and one man advantage was too much to overcome on this evening in Midland.
Brilla hits the road again next weekend for Friday/Sunday contests in Oklahoma City.