Photo Courtesy of Southern States Soccer Club
AFC Mobile fell 3-0 to Southern States Soccer Club in the first match of the 2021 National Premier Soccer League season.
“I think in the first half, we had a good understanding of who they were and what they were going to be about, and how they were going to try and attack us,” AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek said. “We knew that based on our preparation, we might not have a lot of the ball, and we had to make good use of it when we did. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen over the course of the entire game. I think in the first half, we accounted ourselves very well.”
It was a fairly even match for most of the first half with little goalmouth action to report. The Stars controlled the play for most of the half as the Azaleas absorbed pressure from the home team. The Stars thought they took the lead at the half-hour mark, but Andre Deas’ goal off of a short corner was waved offside.
In the 33rd minute, AFC Mobile’s Ronaldo Fortune broke away on the counter-attack, but his shot pulled just left of the goal. Minutes later, Barou Ndaw made an impressive save to keep the score level. The teams headed to the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.
The Azaleas held the Stars scoreless for 53 minutes before a Julian Avila-Good goal for the Stars broke the deadlock. Avila-Good controlled the ball at the top of the box after a cross from Deas on the left-wing and struck the ball with his next touch, sending it past Ndaw to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
Mobile created a few chances around the 60-minute mark, but none resulted in a goal. The Stars doubled their tally in the 63rd minute after Harry Baggaley tapped in a ball from Attila Sepkin. The home team scored their third and final goal in the 82nd minute when Danny Reynolds hit a shot from 20 yards outside the left of goal. The match ended Southern States 3 to AFC Mobile 0.
“I’m really excited and really happy to get out and to play a competitive game. I think that is the biggest takeaway from tonight,” Wieczorek said. “We were able to get out there and represent the club and get our first NPSL game under our belt.”
AFC Mobile will return to action Saturday, May 8th on the road vs. the New Orleans Jesters at Pan-American Stadium in New Orleans. The Azaleas will have their first home match the following Saturday, May 15th, against Port City FC at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex. Kickoff is at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10. Season passes can be purchased online at afcmobile.net/shop.