In a match that seemed it would never end due to a 2 1/2 hour lightning delay, Mississippi Brilla FC and the Oklahoma City Energy U23’s finally ended in a 1-1 stalemate. The two Mid-South Division foes wrapped up four consecutive matches over a ten day period against each other Sunday night at Traceway Park in Clinton, MS. Sunday’s draw leaves the Energy with a 4-1-1 (13 points) record, while Brilla hits the halfway point of the season with a 3-3-1 (10 points) record.
A mostly defensive first half saw very few chances for either team. Brilla held a slight 5-3 advantage on shots taken in the first half, but it was a half that almost never ended. As the referee indicated 3 minutes of stoppage time, lightning took over and the teams were forced to leave the field. It was 2 1/2 hours before things cleared and the final 3 minutes of the half were able to be played. The teams swapped ends of the field in a scoreless deadlock.
The second half was much different as both teams opened things up in an effort to secure a crucial 3 points in the standings. The Energy wasted no time in getting on the board in the second half as Brilla was unable to clear a loose ball from a corner kick in the 49th minute. Defender Sebastian Pineda was able to connect from close range to give the visitors a one goal advantage.
The Energy were reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute when defender Owain Hoskins was shown a red card for a reckless challenge on Brilla’s Carlos Perales. The ejection energized the home side, and they were able to equal the score in the 63rd minute. The game tying goal was a beautiful strike by second half substitute Newton Henry. It was Henry’s second goal in as many matches as he was Friday night’s hero with the game winning tally.
Both teams pressed hard to find the winning goal, as 21 shots were taken in the second half alone. In the end, the battle was a 1-1 draw.
Mississippi Brilla FC hits the road for two contests next weekend against the Saint Louis Lions U23’s. Their next home match is scheduled for Thursday, June 23 against the Midland/Odessa Sockers.