By Datti Jinkiri
Brilla ended the PDL regular season on a major tonight by easily defeating Texas United 7-1. The team had clinched a playoff spot last weekend and did not miss a beat. Seven different goalscorers found the net for the home team.
Only four minutes had past when Brilla opened up the scoring. Carlos Garces curled a corner kick onto the head of defender Chakib Hocine. Hocine rose up and buried the header past goal keeper Adam Zehme.
Javen Palmer doubled the lead just five minutes later. Winger Sinclaire Sandy made a driving run into the box and was taken down from behind. Palmer showed discipline by stepping up the spot and dispatching the penalty kick easily.
However, Texas United pulled a goal back in the 34th minute. Avery Ryan snatched Francisco Vasquez's cross out of the air and put it past the onrushing Jordan Bell. For a second, the momentum looked to be teetering towards Texas United.
Nevertheless, in the 42nd minute, Carlos Garces restored Brilla's two-goal advantage after finishing off a Brilla free kick. Angelo Kelly played a ball into the box that Zehme palmed away. Garces positioned himself well and one-touched the shot into the empty net.
The game was put to bed in the 45th minute by Thibaut Bourrier. The French midfielder intercepted a wayward pass and left Zehme for dead with a delightful chip. The goal was one of the best of Brilla's season so far.
Still, Brilla had a trifecta of goals in the second half. Defender Richard Bryan made it 5-1 in the 46th minute after receiving a diagonal pass from Thomas Vancayezeele. The Englishman made no mistake with the finish.
Connor Johnson, the Mississippi College product, added to the scoreline in the 59th minute. Winger Jacob Alatorre did a great piece of skill out wide and played a well-weighted cross to the back post. Johnson's technique was perfect as he put a one-time volley past Zehme.
Andre De Giorgi finally completed the scoring in the 68th minute. Vancayezeele put him through on goal with a great pass, and the Portuguese forward wheeled around the keeper and put the ball into the net.
Brilla will be in action again soon as they have qualified for the PDL playoffs that begin July 21. They are awaiting word from the league office as to whether or not they will host the first two rounds of the playoffs in Clinton, or be on the road to open the postseason.