By Datti Jinkiri
Tonight's match between Mississippi Brilla FC and the Brazos Valley Cavalry lived up to its billing as the PDL Game of the Week. The encounter was full of end-to-end attacking prowess from the Mid South Division rivals. Eventually, Brilla midfielder Troye Kiernan's 81st minute header was enough to give the hosts a 3-2 comeback victory.
Brilla started the game on the front foot, putting pressure on the Cavalry's defense. Their pressure was rewarded in the 18th minute. Midfielder Sinclaire Sandy performed a skillful turn and spotted winger Carlos Garces, who was making a powerful run into the box. Garces received Sandy's pass and buried the shot past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Andy Rios. It is Garces's first goal of the PDL season.
The Cavalry stayed patient with their attack buildup, and they were rewarded with an equalizer. In the 27th minute, center-back Fnu Tambe played a diagonal pass into the path of midfielder Rimario. The midfielder had a one-on-one with goalkeeper Jordan Bell and made no mistake with the finish.
The Cavalry eventually took the lead in the 57th minute, when Emmanuel Usen rose above the Brilla defense and headed Rimario's corner kick past the arms of Bell.
However, this was a game where Brilla coach Mark McKeever vitally made the correct changes. The substitutes played a huge part in earning the victory.
In the 77th minute, substitute winger Enzo Giuliani tied the match when he latched on to Jordan Skelton's backpost header and put the ball past Rios. And just four minutes later, the Arrow Field crowd was sent into a frenzy. Kiernan made a back post run and nodded fellow substitute Thibaut Bourrier's corner kick into the net.
Sinclaire Sandy led Brilla with three shots tonight. Jordan Bell made three saves and earned the victory
Brilla now moves to 3-0-0 (9 points) on the season. The 2-0-0 divisional start leaves Brilla just behind the 4-0-0 OKC Energy U23s in the Mid South Division standings. Brazos Valley falls to 0-2-0.
Brilla's unbeaten streak will be tested next Sunday night, June 4th against the Oklahoma City Energy U-23s. The venue will be Clinton High School at 7:00 P.M.