PK by Luke Mulholland in the 76th minute downs the Strikers
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (October 12, 2013) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-2-5, 14 pts) were knocked out of contention of a place in the 2013 Soccer Bowl after a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-5-2, 17 pts) at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg on Saturday night. Luke Mulholland buried the deciding goal on a PK in the 76’ to give the home team the 2-1 lead. The penalty shot was given when Pecka brought down Tampa Bay's Keith Savage inside the box.
Much like last week, the Strikers controlled possession for most of the first half, but this week, both teams were able to score before the half-time whistle. The Rowdies took the early lead on a goal by Lucky Mkosana who received a pass in front of the Strikers defender by Etienne Barbara. Mkosana then beat Richard Sanchez and tapped it into the goal.
Martin Nuñez got the equalizer in the 38th minute off a counter attack when Yaikel Perez received a long pass and took it into the box and then crossed it to Nuñez who put it in the back of the net for his team-leading, fourth goal of the season.
The Rowdies came out more aggressive in the second half, but it took the penalty kick for them to find the back of the net. Mkosana gave the Strikers a tough time with his speed, creating several chances for the Rowdies, but the backfield of Rafael Alves and Stefan Antonijevic put up a tough defensive stand.
The Strikers were also able to create several chances throughout the match, but were unable to capitalize on those opportunities.
“We knew that the Rowdies would come with pressure in the second half, but there was no way in my opinion we could lose after coming back before halftime,” said Strikers head coach Günter Kronsteiner. “We had chances to win the game.”
The New York Cosmos, who led the standings by seven points coming into tonight, were able to win at home against the Carolina Railhawks, giving them a 10 point lead over the Strikers with just three games left in the season.
GOAL SUMMARY –
TBR- Lucky Mkosana 2 (Etienne Barbara 4) 13'; Luke Mulholland 8 (Penalty Kick) 76'
FTL- Martin Nuñez 4 (Perez 1) 38'
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES (4-3-3) – Diego Restrepo; Frankie Sanfilippo (C); Luke Mulholland; Takuya Yamada; Andres Arango; Shane Hill (Keith Savage 34'); Stuart Campbell; Evans Frimpong; Raphael Cox; Lucky Mkosana (Devin Del Do 83'); Etienne Barbara (Carl Cort 66')
Unused Substitutes: Andrew Fontein; Kyle Clinton, Jay Needham; Jamael Cox
FORT LAUDERDALE (4-1-4-1) – Richard Sánchez; Darnell King, Rafael Alves, Stefan Antonijevic, Iván Guerrero; Pecka (C); Walter Restrepo, Martin Nuñez, Carlos Salazar (Bradlee Baladez 87'); Paulo Jr. (Manny Gonzalez 67') ; Yaikel Pérez
Unused Substitutes: Lionel Brown, Justin Chavez, Daniel Arcila, Aly Alberto Hassan, Gonzalo de Mujica
BOOKING SUMMARY –
TBR - Luke Mulholland (caution) 22'; Lucky Mkosana (caution) 68'; Raphael Cox (caution) 72'; Diego Restrepo (caution) '82
FTL – Walter Restrepo (caution) 41'; Ivan Guerrero (caution) 45'; Pecka 73’
The team returns home to face the Atlanta Silverbacks on October 19th. On that night, the first 1,500 fans age 16 and under will receive a FREE Strikers regulation size ball. The balls will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis with gates opening at 5:30 PM. The Strikers Fan Zone will open at 5:30 PM with activities for the whole family.
Season Tickets for the 2014 Season are on sale, with huge discounts if purchased before November 2nd. Call 954-606-0400 to purchase season tickets.
Tickets for all upcoming home games are available for purchase online at www.strikers.com, or by calling 954-606-0400. Call or visit www.strikers.com for more information. Follow the Strikers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.