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Match Recap: Strikers 4, Silverbacks 0

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Photo credit- Rosa Cavalcanti

Match: Fort Lauderdale Strikers (FTL) v. Atlanta Silverbacks (ATL)
Competition: North American Soccer League 2014 Spring Season- Matchday 5
Venue: Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 81 degrees, overcast

Watch the match highlights here

Visit the Match Center to view full stats here

Scoring summary

  1st 2nd FT
FTL 1 3 4
ATL 0 0 0

FTL- Martin Nuñez 3 (unassisted)- 23rd minute
FTL- Mark Anderson 2 (Iván Guerrero 3)- 50’
FTL- Carlos Salazar 1 (free kick)- 84’
FTL- Fafà Picault 3 (penalty kick)- 90+2’

Lineups:

Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-2-3-1) –
1-Oka Nikolov; 21-Darnell King, 33-Rafael Alves, 2-Stefan Antonijevic, 12-Iván Guerrero (C); 13-Justin Chavez, 14-Carlos Salazar (7-Gonzalo De Mujica, 85); 17-Shawn Chin, 20-Mark Anderson (23-Manny Gonzalez, 75), 9-Martin Nuñez (19-Marius Ebbers, 62); 11-Fafà Picault

Unused substitutes: 22-Lionel Brown, 6-Chris Nurse, 29-Yaikel Perez, 34-Darryl Gordon

Atlanta Silverbacks (4-4-2) – 16-Eric Ati; 2-Edgar Espinoza, 38-Ryan Roushandel, 4-Bobby Reiss, 29-Mike Randolph (C); 7-Junior Sandoval (45- Alex Harlley, 60), 70-Jesus Gonzalez, 5-Blair Gavin, 33-Junior Burgos (10-Kwadwo Poku, 46); 9-Deon McCauley, 19-Jaime Chavez

Unused substitutes: Thomas Hunter, Beto Navarro, Lucas Paulini

Misconduct Summary:
FTL- Stefan Antonijevic (caution)- 20th minute
ATL- Jesus Gonzalez (caution)- 42’
ATL- Blair Gavin (caution)- 42’
FTL- Justin Chavez (caution)- 66’
ATL- Alex Harlley (ejection)- 73’
FTL- Marius Ebbers (caution)- 77’
ATL- Bobby Reiss (caution)- 83’

Officials: Referee: Alan Kelly; Assistants: Stefan McHardy, Everton Cole; Fourth Official: Rubiel Vazquez

Strikers Score Four, Win Third Game in a Row

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Saturday, May 10, 2014) - The Fort Lauderdale Strikers won their third consecutive game defeating the visiting Atlanta Silverbacks 4-0 at Lockhart Stadium. With the win, the Strikers (4W-0T-1L, 12 points) move up to first place in the NASL standings, level on points with Minnesota United FC.

Martin Nuñez’ third goal in three matches gave the Strikers a 1-0 first half lead, while second-half strikes from Mark Anderson, Carlos Salazar and Fafà Picault gave the Strikers a comfortable home victory in front of 3,109 fans.

The Strikers looked to get on the board early and nearly opened the scoring in just the sixth minute of the match. A 35-yard freekick from Mark Anderson dipped over the wall and on frame but Silverbacks goalkeeper Eric Ati managed to get low to his right to parry the ball from danger.

At the other end, Atlanta had a freekick of their own denied by some brilliant goalkeeping. Oka Nikolov got a fingertip to Jesus Gonzalez’ effort from the top of the box to keep the match scoreless.

Just moments later the breakthrough came for the Strikers. A low cross from Anderson wasn’t dealt with by the Silverbacks defense and Nuñez was in the right place to pick his spot and put the hosts ahead in the 23rd minute of the match.

Strikers forward Fafà Picault caused the Atlanta defense problems all night with his movement and went close to scoring twice in the first half. The diminutive forward had a close range effort denied by a brilliant point-blank save from Ati and was unlucky not to score in the 45th minute after being sent through on goal by Anderson.

A spectacular goal from Anderson doubled the Strikers’ lead just five minutes into the second half. A quick throw from Iván Guerrero was played into the path of Anderson who struck the ball on the bounce from 30 yards into the far corner of the net to the delight of the home fans.

Down 2-0, Atlanta started to throw numbers forward. Any hopes of a comeback were crushed in the 73rd minute which forced the Englishman off the field with an injury.

Carlos Salazar added a goal five minutes from time on a freekick from the top of the box. The Strikers increased the lead to 4-0 in the final seconds of the match on a penalty kick converted by Picault, who was taken down for the spot kick.

Coach Quotes:

Our guys are playing very well together. They played strong throughout the whole game, we attacked well, and we didn’t allow many chances. I’m very proud of them and the way they are coming together.

On not having lost at home since September 21, 2013

Our fans here are very supportive here. I can feel their energy from the bench. We may not have the largest crowd, but our fans are as loud as any team.

On playing Minnesota United FC next

It’s going to be a tough game, but our guys are playing with a lot of confidence right now. I believe we can go in there and give them a very tough match!

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