Since the USL League Two calendar dropped in February, Brave SC fans had June 15 circled.

A match with Nona FC is always critical as the sides have traded division titles the last two years and the Southeast is almost always decided by the outcome of those contests.

Forward Nico Diaz scored twice and assisted on a goal by Oscar Resano to give the Buffalo a 3-0 win at The Range, the most convincing victory in the history of the series, and a leg up in the race for the Southeast Division title.

“I heard a lot from the players about how important this game was going to be well before we came into this,” Diaz said. “Obviously, Nona’s a very good team, probably the only team in this division that matches our ability to move the ball, so that’s a huge statement win — three-nil, at home, against our rivals.”

After a scoreless first half, Diaz quickly turned the game in the Buffalo’s favor, scoring in the 50th and 60th minutes 

“I wasn’t expecting two goals that fast, but Nico today, wow,” goalkeeper Mathias Tieppo said. “I have nothing to say, literally. He took the responsibility on himself, scored two beautiful goals and made the game easy.”

The Buffalo generated shots, but didn’t test Nona goalkeeper Shane Wright with many dangerous balls in the first half. At the other end, Tieppo’s night was even easier, though, as he faced just three shots in the first half, seven for the game, and only two on target.

“Honestly, Leo (Andrade) was a beast,” Tieppo said. “Our defense was everywhere tonight, not letting their guys turn. We made it so hard for them to attack, to find that last pass.

While both sides saw limited chances in the first half, Brave held the edge in attempts (6) and shots on goal (4). Having created multiple opportunities down the right side, head coach Anderson DaSilva emphasized his team’s advantage there at halftime and it paid off with both of Diaz’s goals coming from the right wing.

The first started with a long pass from Fabio Rodrigues, which Diaz controlled off his chest and volleyed into the opposite corner of the net.

“Last game against Brevard, Fabinho had played a similar ball forward that I lost in the lights,” Diaz said. “I didn’t lose it this time and it was an excellent ball from Fabinho. It just put me in the right spot and that’s something I’ve practiced a hundred times in training.”

The second came from almost exactly the same spot less than 10 minutes later on a pass from Matheus Ferreira, which Diaz buried with a blast.

“Nico, he’s scoring almost every game now,” DaSilva said, praising the winger. “Great speed, great shots, he has great accuracy. Two goals tonight that were unbelievable, and an assist.”

The assist came in the 81st minute, a feed up the middle to Oscar Resano, which the striker put away for his first tally of the campaign.

“It felt amazing,” Resano said. “Every striker has gone through those small streaks of not getting it inside the net and it’s frustrating. Those streaks are very, very frustrating, but those help you build character.”

Minutes later, the final whistle sounded and the celebration was on. Saturday’s Brave SC victory was the first for either club decided by more than one goal and the Buffalo’s first clean sheet against the Longhorns to result in a win.

“I think that just speaks to the kind of team that we are,” Resano said. “Good teams perform all the time, great teams perform even more when it’s a tough scenario. This is by far the toughest team we’ve faced this season… but it also wasn’t a game where you saw only one team. They also had possession a few times like we did, and I think that speaks to the responsibility of our team.”

With the win, the Buffalo moved into a tie with the Longhorns for second place in the Southeast Division, though both teams trail Florida Elite SA in matches played. The two sides will meet again on July 3 when Brave SC will travel to Austin Tindall for the second leg of the season series.

“We must keep our heads up and it’s not time to celebrate too much right now,” DaSilva said. “We still have a lot of games in front of us, we’re still going to play them at their home, so it’s a good win, but we shouldn’t get distracted with the excitement. Both feet on the ground, head up, and let’s get back to working hard again.”

Brave SC will be back in action Wednesday night on the road for the club’s first ever matchup against Inter Gainesville KF.

For more information on Brave SC, including the roster, Southeast Division standings and a full schedule, visit