photo by Jon van Woerden
Strikers set mark for club’s highest attendance in a year since the NASL debuted in 2011
FORT LAUDERDALE – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers finished tied 1-1 with FC Edmonton in front of 4,215 fans in the final match of the 2013 NASL season at Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers averaged a club record of 4,265 fans per game in 2013.
Edmonton substitute Massimo Mirabelli scored a second-half equalizer to cancel out Carlos Salazar’s first-half opener from the penalty spot to give the visitors a point.
In just the seventh minute of the match, Gonzalo De Mujica’s shot stuck the outstretched arm of Albert Watson and the Strikers were awarded a penalty kick.
Salazar stepped up to spot and finished the chance with aplomb, chipping the ball down the middle as goalkeeper John Smits dove to his left. It was Salazar’s third goal from the penalty spot and his third goal in as many games.
Before the game started the Strikers were dealt a blow. Leading-scorer Martin Nuñez was forced out of the starting lineup after picking up an injury in the pregame warmup. Hosman Ramos stepped in to take his place in the starting lineup.
Ramos and De Mujica, making their first starts under Coach Günter Kronsteiner, impressed in the first half. The midfield pair created chances for Paulo Jr. and Yaikel Pérez to test Smits in the Edmonton goal.
In the opposite goal Fort Lauderdale goalkeeper Richard Sánchez was untested in the first half, with the Eddies taking just three shots, none of which were on target.
Both sides came out after the break looking for a goal. Edmonton’s Corey Hertzog hammered a volley wide and at the other end Ramos went close with a chip over the bar.
The turning point of the match came in the 65th minute of the match when Strikers midfielder Gonzalo De Mujica was shown a straight red card for his reaction to an Edmonton challenge.
Defending the narrow lead became harder for the Strikers after the send-off as Edmonton pushed for an equalizer. Rafael Alves and Richard Sanchez came up big to deny a pair of chances from Corey Hertzog and Massimo Mirabelli in the 71st minte.
But Mirabelli would find the breakthrough just four minutes later on a swift counter attacking move. The Eddies won the ball in midfield and quickly countered down the middle through Daryl Fordyce. The forward squared the ball to his left for Mirabelli to finish through the legs of the onrushing Sanchez.
Both teams pressed for a winner after the goal. Mirabelli and Mortotsi went close for the visitors and Sanchez made another pair of saves.
Fan Appreciation Night
After the match, the Strikers players made their way to the stadium’s Fan Zone to meet and greet the fans as part of Fan Appreciation Night. Fans were able to enjoy live music while they took pictures with and got autographs from the Strikers squad.
GOAL SUMMARY –
FTL- Carlos Salazar 4 (penalty kick)- 8’
FCE- Massimo Mirabelli (Daryl Fordyce)- 74’
FORT LAUDERDALE (4-1-4-1) – Richard Sánchez; Darnell King, Rafael Alves, Stefan Antonijevic, Iván Guerrero (C); Toni Ståhl (Manny Gonzalez 46); Gonzalo De Mujica, Hosman Ramos, Carlos Salazar (Bradlee Baladez 75), Paulo Jr.; Yaikel Pérez (Justin Chavez 61)
Unused substitutes: Cody Laurendi, Daniel Arcila, Aly Alberto Hassan
FC EDMONTON (4-3-3) – John Smits; Eddie Edward, David Proctor, Albert Watson (C), Lance Laing; Robert Garrett (Massimo Mirabelli 61), Neil Hlavaty, Edem Mortotsi (Hanson Boakai 82); Sadi Jalali, Corey Hertzog, Daryl Fordyce
Unused substitutes: Norbert Janas, Michael Nonni, De Guise
BOOKING SUMMARY –
FCE- Lance Laing (caution)- 16’
FCE- Edson Edward (caution)- 30’
FTL- Gonzalo De Mujica (ejection)- 65’
Fan Appreciation Night will feature $1 Beers and post-game activities
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (October 31, 2013) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (5-2-6, 17pts) will play their final game of the season at home against FC Edmonton (3-6-4, 15pts) on Saturday, November 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. at historic Lockhart Stadium. This game has been designated as Fan Appreciation Night, with $1 Beers from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, and post-game activities with the players in the Fan Zone.
FC Edmonton is coming off two impressive games, where they tied the Fall Champion New York Cosmos in New York, and then knocked the Tampa Bay Rowdies out of contention for the Soccer Bowl by beating them 2-1 in Edmonton.
“We want to win this game, because we want to finish with a win, especially at home,” from Strikers head coach Gunter Kronsteiner. “But I know they (Edmonton) are doing very well. They played away against the Cosmos and had a draw and then they won at home against Tampa, so they are on their way up and with a lot of confidence. But we still want to win this game. We had a pretty good season already with everything we’ve gone through, but to end with a win would be good.”
In the previous contest between these two teams on September 15th, in Edmonton, the Strikers found themselves down one goal and two coaches at the half. FC Edmonton’s Lance Laing scored off a free kick in the 37th minute on a sequence of events that caused both Strikers coaches, head coach Günter Kronsteiner and assistant coach Ricardo Lopes, as well as forward Walter Restrepo, to get ejected from the game.
During half-time of Saturday night’s the match, the team will honor local clubs during the FYSA Night of Champions. After the match, fans are invited to return to the South courtyard in the Fan Zone Interactive area where all the Strikers players will be on hand to meet and greet all fans in attendance. All Strikers merchandise will be on sale at 25% off for the night. Reggae Band Rhythmadx will also be providing entertainment with a post-game concert in the Fan Zone.
FTL is 4W-1T-1L at home against FCE since 2011
FTL is 4-4-2 against FCE since 2011
Ivan Guerrero leads FTL with 6 assists
Martin Nuñez leads FTL with 5 goals; he also had 5 goals in 2011 when he played with FTL
Darnell King is the only FTL player to play in every game this season
FCE has allowed 1 goal or fewer in 21 of 25 games for 2013
TICKETS FOR 2014
Season Tickets for the 2014 Season are on sale, with big 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.
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