Match Recap: Strikers 1, Edmonton 2
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2-3-3, 9 pts) lost to FC Edmonton (3-2-3. 11 pts) 2-1 at Clarke Stadium in a game riddled with yellow cards, putting an end to their 5 game unbeaten streak. After the loss, the Strikers find themselves in sixth place in the combined table, just one point behind the fourth place team, Carolina Railhawks, for the final spot in The Championship.
Edmonton took the lead in the 34th minute when Lance Laing was able to get past Darryl Gordon and crossed the ball into the box. Ritchie Jones received the ball and one-timed it past Strikers keeper David Meves.
The first half was a little feisty as seven yellow cards were given in the half, including a pair of yellows in the 6th minute when Pecka was handed a yellow for a hard tackle, and Cristian Raudales came in to protect his teammates and pushed Pecka down, receiving a yellow as well. In all there were 12 yellow cards in the match, including a second yellow to Neil Hlavaty resulting in an ejection in the 90’+.
The Strikers best chance of the first half came in the 22nd minute when Aly Hassan received the ball inside the box, was able to control the ball and turn to shoot, but the ball was blocked by the Eddies’ defense. The teams went into the locker room with Edmonton leading 1-0
Edmonton came out aggressive in the second half. The Eddies almost doubled the score in the 62nd minute, taking a couple of shots from inside the box, but the Strikers defense held strong.
Just four minutes after, Laing received a through ball and found himself one-on-one with Meves, but Meves made a great save and was able to keep the Strikers within one.
Mark Anderson had a great opportunity to tie the game in the 71st minute when he received a ball inside the box but was unable to convert as Edmonton goalkeeper Lance Parker was able to stop the shot.
A minute later, Laing received a ball from Chad Burt and found himself alone at the top of the box and this time he was able to bury the ball past Meves to put Edmonton up 2-0.
The Strikers kept attacking and were able to get on the scoreboard late in the game when Pecka was brought down from behind inside the box and the Strikers were awarded the Penalty shot. Hassan took the shot and slotted it into the bottom left corner to cut the lead in half with less than 5 minutes left in the match.
The Strikers continued to push and had a great opportunity in the 95rd minute when Hlavati blocked a shot with his hand, just outside the box, and was given his second yellow, resulting in his ejection. Alves took the free kick and smashed it off the wall for a corner. The Strikers brought everyone up for the corner, but unfortunately were not able to capitalize and the referee blew the whistle.
“It’s a deserved win for the home team,” said Strikers Head Coach Günter Kronsteiner. “We couldn’t create as many chances as we wanted to. Not to make any excuses, but when you don’t’ have 4-5 starters (due to injuries and suspension), it hurts the team a little bit. I don’t know what the match would have looked like if we had some of our other players. It’s a close race (to The Championship), but there are 4-5 teams which are completely in the same level, so it’s going to be a fight.”
The Strikers return home to Lockhart to face San Antonio Scorpions in a Friday night contest on August 29. Fans can enjoy beers for just $1 before the game between 5:30-7:30 pm as part of “Miller Lite Dollar Beer Night”. Tickets to Strikers home games start at $12 in advance and can be purchased on www.Strikers.com/tickets or by calling 954-606-0400
FCE - Ritchie Jones (Lance Laing)- 35th minute
FCE - Lance Laing (Chad Burt)- 73'
FTL - Aly Alberto Hassan 1 (penalty kick)- 86'
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-3-3) – David Meves; Darryl Gordon, Rafael Alves, Stefan Antonijevic, Ivan Guerrero (C); Manny Gonzalez (Gonzalo de Mujica, 55'), Chris Nurse, Pecka; Mark Anderson (Mitchell Lopez, 82'), Martin Nuñez (Colin Murphy, 76'), Aly Alberto Hassan
Subs not used: Lionel Brown, Stephane Guillaume, Ronaldo Vieira
FC Edmonton (4-4-2) – Lance Parker; Edson Edward, Albert Watson (C), Beto Navarro, Kareem Moses; Michael Nonni (Horace James, 76'), Ritchie Jones, Cristian Raudales, Lance Laing; Chad Burt (Neil Hlavaty, 79'), Tomi Ameobi (Frank Jonke, 79')
Subs not used: John Smits, Mallan Roberts, Hanson Boakai
FTL - Pecka 6' (Caution)
FCE - C. Raudales 6' (Caution)
FTL - M. Anderson 12' (Caution)
FCE - M. Nonni 25' (Caution)
FTL - R Alves 27' (Caution)
FCE - C. Burt 39' (Caution)
FCE - O Ameobi 45' (Caution)
FTL - C. Nurse 76' (Caution)
FCE - N. Hlavati 84' (Caution)
FCE - E. Edward 86' (Caution)
FCE - F Jonke 90' (Caution)
FCE - N Hlavati 90' (Ejection, second yellow)
Referee: S. Dickson
Assistants: D. Illingworth
Fourth Official: G. Pavone