OKLAHOMA CITY — Midland/Odessa Sockers FC won a playoff match for the first time in exactly seven years with a 2-1 victory over The Villages SC on Friday evening at Taft Stadium in the 2016 PDL Southern Conference Semifinals.
The Villages SC maintained possession early on in the match, but the Sockers struck in the 15th minute as Nick Cashmere lofted a ball into the box just in front of Bruno Henrique who punched it in for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The remainder of the first half was played the same way with the Sockers coming up with more chances with their possessions even though The Villages SC seemed to control the ball more in the first 45 minutes.
The Sockers took a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute as a free kick from Jade Mesias hit off of the crossbar and dropped into the goal. That eventual game-winner would prove to be pivotal as The Villages SC scored in the 78th minute off of a set piece of their own.
The Villages SC put the pressure on the rest of the way, but the Sockers were able to hold on for their first playoff victory since the 2009 Southern Conference Divisional Semifinals against the Austin Aztex U23.
Sockers FC will take on the OKC Energy U23 in the Southern Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CT. OKC defeated the South Florida Surf, 2-1 in the other semifinal.
This will be the fourth meeting this season between the Sockers and OKC. The Sockers lost the first meeting in Norman, Okla. on July 5, 4-1 and then split the next two at Grande Communications Stadium to close out the regular season, 2-0 and 2-1.
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