By Port City FC
One can throw out the records every time AFC Mobile and Port City FC take the field. Once referred to as one of the hottest up-and-coming rivalries by a national publication, every game between AFC Mobile and Port City is a tight contest.
Earlier in the year, Port City knocked off AFC Mobile in Mobile by the very close score of 1-0 and the only goal was a 40-yard bomb by Jamarcus Hawkins just before the end of the first half. Picking up right where he left off, Hawkins stepped in front of a pass that found its way between the center back and goalkeeper and put Port City ahead 1-0 in the eighth minute.
The first 30 minutes were a bit of a one-sided affair as AFC Mobile sat back in a coordinated defensive posture and Port City worked the edges of its defense looking to breakthrough for a second goal. In the 22nd minute Hawkins released another long bomb that looked like it was going in, only to be denied by the top post of the goal and then deflected away by AFC Mobile’s stingy defense.
In the 25th minute Port City’s Hawkins broke through for his and Port City’s second goal, only to have the linesman raise the offside flag.
AFC Mobile finally got its first real chance in the 27th minute when a shot from outside the box was handled by the Port City goalkeeper.
After several crosses from the corners were knocked away by the AFC Mobile defense, Port City finally got the second in the 36th minute when Mohammed Diallo broke down the end line and crossed the ball across the middle to Dustin Cuevas who hammered the shot home first time into the lower left corner of the net.
The two-goal lead was short-lived however, as Mobile got its best chance of the night, driving the ball down the right side of the field and crossing the ball to an open midfielder at the top of the box. Landon Pendleton struck a shot at the lower left corner and snuck the ball past the Port City keeper to move the score to 2-1 Port City in the 39th minute.
Both teams had a couple opportunities to end the first half, but were thwarted by the tight defenses, leaving the score 2-1 Port City at the half.
After returning from the locker room, Port City turned up the heat in what became a second half spent mostly on AFC Mobile’s end.
Port City scored its third goal in the 56th minute when Cuevas took a cross from the Port City sideline and headed home his second goal of the evening.
In the 66th minute, Port City seemed to have scored its fourth goal when Kidomo Albert beat the goalkeeper and hit a nifty shot over several defenders, only to have an AFC Mobile defender head the ball on the line, straight up, hitting the post and bouncing on the goal line. The linesman waived off a possible goal and the game continued 3-1 in favor of Port City.
The last real opportunity of the night came from Port City’s Niyonizigiye Claude when he beat the goalkeeper in the 80th minute, only to have the ball swept away by a returning AFC Mobile defender.
The game ended 3-1 in favor of the hosts and put them in first place atop the table with 18 points. The 18 points left Port City out of reach of the other four teams, making Port City FC the NPSL U-19 pilot winners. Port City sends their rivals back to Mobile to finish up the season with a Sunday contest against second-place Pensacola FC.
Photo Credit: Port City FC