The Premier Development League season has only just begun, but Mississippi Brilla FC and the Birmingham Hammers are already becoming familiar foes. Wednesday’s contest in Mississippi was the second of three matches between the two teams that will take place this week alone. Birmingham won Saturday’s contest 3-1 over in Alabama, while Mississippi defended its home turf with a 2-1 victory in the mid-week bout. The third of their four matches this season will take place Saturday in Birmingham.
Brilla came out swinging in an effort to even the series after Saturday’s defeat. While holding a clear lead in time of possession for much of the first half, the home team seemed to slip into a slower pace just before halftime and the Hammers took advantage. The visitors earned a corner kick in the 38th minute, and Mikey Connell’s service found the head of Mathieu Laurent who buried it in the back of the net to give Birmingham a 1-0 cushion at the break.
Brilla wasted no time changing the game early in the second half by scoring a beautiful goal just 7 minutes after the half. Bastien Oberli placed the ball into the box for Ali Brador, who calmly left it for defender Rich Bryan at the top of the box. Bryan pounced on the pass and curled a brilliant shot into the top corner of the net. Bryan’s third goal of the season evened the match at 1-1 in the 52nd minute.
Three minutes later Brilla got the go ahead goal and game winner that it was looking for. Following a foul on the Hammers at the top of the box, Ozzy Brock blasted the free kick into the net for his first PDL goal of the season. Brilla was able to close out the game to move its record to 2-1-1 (7 points) on the young season. Birmingham falls to 1-1-1 (4 points).
The two teams will meet again in Birmingham on Saturday. Mississippi Brilla will return home next Tuesday, June 5 to host Memphis City FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm at Clinton High School Arrow Stadium.