By Datti Jinkiri
Brilla's home opener came down to one vital moment from Thomas Vancaeyezeele, and he delivered. The French midfielder scored the only goal of the match in the 71st minute, propelling the team to a 1-0 win over the Brazos Valley Calvary. The three points gives Brilla a head start in the tough Mid South Division.
After winning the ball in defense, Jordan Skelton started the move by passing forward toward Vancaeyezeele. The eventual goalscorer dummied the ball to striker Mario Mastrangelo who drove at the Cavalry defense and found Portuguese winger Andre de Giorgi with a nice pass. De Giorgi then played a well weighted cross into the path of the onrushing Vancaeyezeele, who made no mistake with his finish. It is Vancaeyezeele's first goal of the season, and De Giorgi's first assist of the season.
Mastrangelo was full of energy the entire match, fighting for 50/50 balls and making great runs into open channels. He nearly opened the scoring on a first half breakaway, but Cavalry goalkeeper Andy Rios made a fine save.
De Giorgi also had a great opportunity early in the second half. Center-back Jordan Skelton took on a couple defenders and played a great pass across the face of the goal. However, one of the Cavalry defenders made a heroic goal-line save on De Giorgi's strike.
Jordan Bell earned his second straight shutout of the season. It was a comfortable outing for him, as he only had to make two saves.
Brazos Valley looked dangerous on the counterattack for most of the evening. Midfielder Rimario was their key players tonight, and his passing distribution was the genesis of most of their attacks. However, the team's attack lost its gusto after midfielders William and Dominick Falletto each collected pairs yellow cards and ejections.
On Saturday night, the teams will meet again in another important divisional match. Kickoff will be at 7:00 PM at Clinton High School.