South Georgia Tormenta FC’s three-match winning streak came to an end Friday night as the Tri-Cities Otters claimed a 1-0 victory in Johnson City, Tenn.
In the 74th minute of a back-and-forth scoreless game, Tresor Mbuyu finished off a cross by Sam Amure, blasting a low shot into the back corner of the net for the game’s lone goal.
The match was similar to the first meeting between the sides two weeks ago. In that contest, it was Tormenta that broke through in the 83rd minute for a 1-0 win.
“It was a classic 1-0 game,” Tormenta coach John Miglarese said. “Overall, I thought we played well. We had the better chances and really had opportunities to put three or four goal in during the first half. But we didn’t convert.
“Credit the Otters for playing tough. They pushed us all the way and we had some heavy legs in the end. We were just never really in sync and they were the ones who found the goal at the end.”
To the credit of Tormenta (4-3-4), they made Tri-Cities work hard for the win.
Sam Lofts - who scored the winner in the first match - uncorked a shot on goal within the first minute of action. Crosses and shots continued to threaten the Otters’ box at a regular pace, but Tri-Cities keeper Torge Wiedenroth was up to the challenge, making several sprawling saves to keep Tormenta off the scoreboard.
As the game wore on, Tormenta wore down.
South Georgia was playing its third game in seven days, with all of them coming in hot and humid conditions. Miglarese attempted to mitigate the stress by changing up lineups and carefully utilizing substitutions. And while his players came through with chances and shots, none were able to finish.
“We’re at a tough part of the schedule,” Miglarese said. “But everyone deals with stretches like this. We’re no different. We have to turn right back around and get ready to win the next one.”
Once again, there won’t be much rest involved. Tormenta bused through the night to get back to Statesboro, but will only spend a few hours in town before hitting the road again ahead of a Monday night game against Peachtree City MOBA in metro-Atlanta.
“It’s a lot to handle,” Lofts said. “Playing a lot of games in a short time is always going to be tough on your legs. It’s also a challenge when there isn’t much time leading up to a game to prepare for an opponent.”
Game time Monday is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Tormenta is still looking for its first win over its in-state rival. Peachtree City won the first contest last season before the sides tied near the end of the regular season. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Statesboro earlier this season.