Gulfport, Miss. –  Southern States SC Stars trailed Port City FC Sounders to a late first-half penalty-kick in a tough, hard-fought game at Gulfport High School stadium on Tuesday. There was little to separate the two teams as the Sounders and Stars battled for first-half supremacy.

If the first half simmered, the second half boiled up after Star’s midfielder, Atila Sepkin received two yellow cards in quick succession leading to his ejection from the game. As the Stars made light of the numerical disadvantage in search of an equalizer, fouls and further yellow cards flourished on both sides of the ball.

Amazingly, the visiting Stars dragged themselves back into the game when Danny Reynolds fired home an unstoppable penalty-kick to level the scores at 1-1 with 15 minutes left in regular time.

Those last minutes including almost ten minutes of stoppage time saw both teams with chances of winning the game. Unfortunately for the Stars, it was in stoppage time when the Sounders snatched the all-important goal. From a corner kick, the ball somehow found its way to the far post and was bundled into the net for a Port City win.

The home team had taken its revenge for their loss at Southern States SC earlier in the season. There is a real competitive edge establishing itself between these two in-state rivals, and that was evident in the physical nature of the game and the intensity of the play.