Goalkeeper Richard Sanchez kept them in the game with his third consecutive shutout
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (September 7, 2013) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have moved level on points in first place after picking up a crucial point at home with a 0-0 draw against the San Antonio Scorpions at Lockhart Stadium. Sánchez kept his third successive clean sheet for the Strikers, the longest shutout streak in team history since the Strikers’ rebirth in 2011.
The tie extended the Strikers unbeaten streak to four matches and moves the team up to first place in the standings on 10 points alongside Carolina RailHawks and Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Rowdies are ahead of the Strikers in goal differential.
The Strikers failed to capitalize on a man advantage after the Scorpions were reduced to 10 men. Stephen DeRoux earned himself a red card after lunging into a 50-50 ball with a studs-up challenge on Walter Restrepo just over an hour into the match.
“(San Antonio) has just been unlucky in their past games, they’re a better team than their record,” said Strikers head coach Günter Kronsteiner. “They came here fighting, so it wasn’t an easy game for us. We’re not a team that is strong enough to outplay somebody. We have to win these games, there’s no excuse.”
It was the first-half heroics from Strikers goalkeeper Richard Sánchez that kept the Scorpions from taking an unlikely lead in Fort Lauderdale. Sánchez first came up big in the 12th minute on a vicious 25-yard shot from Walter Ramirez. The Mexican youth international then denied Hans Denissen’s close-range effort on the half-hour mark with an acrobatic save.
The Strikers started the match with the same lineup from the previous week’s win against Carolina RailHawks, and started the match the more attacking of the two sides. Martin Nuñez went close after just five minutes, his shot hitting the side netting after a sustained period of possession from the hosts.
Fort Lauderdale came out stronger in the second half as well. Guerrero, who assisted on both of the Strikers winning goals the past two matches, nearly tallied another assist. His cross was met by the head of Mark Anderson who failed to direct his header on target.
Fort Lauderdale piled on the pressure following DeRoux’s red card in the 63rd minute. Despite taking a total of 15 shots, the Strikers failed to find the winning goal.
The Strikers head out on the road against FC Edmonton on Sunday, September 15th, before returning to Lockhart to take on The New York Cosmos on Saturday, September 21st. Tickets to all home matches are available at www.strikers.com or by calling 954-606-0400.
GOAL SUMMARY –
FORT LAUDERDALE (4-4-1-1) – Richard Sánchez; Stéphane Guillaume, Rafael Alves, Stefan Antonijevic, Iván Guerrero (C); Darnell King (Paulo Jr. 57), Manny Gonzalez, Toni Ståhl, Martin Nuñez; Mark Anderson (Walter Restrepo 56); Yaikel Pérez (Bradlee Baladez 76)
Unused substitutes: Lionel Brown, Daniel Arcila, Justin Chavez, Gonzalo De Mujica
SAN ANTONIO SCORPIONS (3-4-3) – Pat Hannigan; Greg Janicki, Luka Vučko (C), Stephen DeRoux; Lyle Martin, Edin Husić (Fabrice Noël 88), Javier Saavedra, Walter Ramirez (Blake Wagner 78); Hans Denissen, Borja Rubiato (Pat Phelan 65), Tomasz Zahorski
Unused substitutes: Jeremy Vuolo, Sean Arters
BOOKING SUMMARY –
FTL- Walter Restrepo (caution)- 79
SAS- Stephen DeRoux (ejection)- 63