A record breaking crowd of 807 was on hand in Mobile, Alabama at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex to see AFC Mobile fall in its inaugural match by a score of 2-1 to the Gulf Coast Texans of Pensacola, Florida.
The Texans opened the scoring early when Dillon Gallet raced down the left-hand side of the pitch and sent a shot soaring inside the far post from a tight angle. The Texans continued to control possession until the 32nd minute, when Moses Muhubao netted AFC Mobile’s first ever goal after receiving a beautiful ball over the Texans’ back line, smashing it past Texans goalkeeper Rudy Seelmann.
“It was great to see the large crowd. The boys fed off their energy and it was an unbelievable home atmosphere,” said head coach Nate Nicholas. “When we scored, the crowd was electric.”
The Texans nearly regained the lead when Felipe Lawall’s shot ricocheted off the upright. Minutes later, the Texans went back up after Gallet scored his second goal of the night. Soon after, Mobile failed to convert a free kick after the Texans’ Stephen Munoz was shown a yellow card. KC Espoir nearly leveled the score for Mobile in stoppage time of the first half, but his shot from outside the box was easily saved.
Mobile started the second half with a renewed sense of energy. Chisom Ogbonna took a shot from a tight angle on the left-hand side but it was saved. The second half was full of back-and-forth play in the midfield, with both teams struggling to find their pace.
In the 81st minute, Mobile’s Chris Rumsey came into the game and made his presence known immediately as he sent a shot just over the crossbar on his first touch of the game. In stoppage time, the Texans’ Chris Searcy was show two yellow cards for time wasting and dissent. Mobile had a chance to equalize late in the game when Espoir played the ball to Batevya Mediateur, but in the attacking third, but the ball was cleared.
The 807 fans in attendance represented the largest crowd ever for a Gulf Coast Premier League game.
“It’s surreal to have that many people for a soccer game in Mobile.” said AFC Mobile president Abram Chamberlain. “It’s an experience for our team to build on; it’s an experience for us to build on, but this is only the beginning for AFC Mobile.
AFC Mobile will head to Kenner, Louisiana for its first away game on Saturday, May 20th to take on the Louisiana Fire, who lost to Gaffa FC 3-2 on Saturday. Kickoff for next week’s game is set for 5:00 p.m.