Match Recap: Strikers 2-0 Fury
Photo credit- Jon van Woerden
Match: Fort Lauderdale Strikers (FTL) vs. Ottawa Fury FC (OTT)
Competition: North American Soccer League 2014 Spring Season- Matchday 1
Venue: Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:45 p.m. ET
Weather: 78 degrees
Fans' Man of the Match: Justin Chavez
FTL- Rafael Alves 1 (Mark Anderson 1)- 13th minute
FTL- Darnell King 1 (unassisted)- 80th minute
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-2-3-1) – 1-Oka Nikolov; 21-Darnell King, 33-Rafael Alves (23-Manny Gonzalez 46), 2-Stefan Antonijevic, 12-Iván Guerrero (C); 6-Chris Nurse, 13-Justin Chavez; 17-Shawn Chin (11-Fafà Picault 67), 20-Mark Anderson, 9-Martin Nuñez; 19-Marius Ebbers (29-Yaikel Pérez 81)
Unused substitutes: 22- Lionel Brown; 5-Matt Hall, 14-Carlos Salazar,15-Aly Alberto Hassan
Head Coach: Günter Kronsteiner
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3) – 29-Devala Gorrick; 4-Drew Beckie; 5-Omar Jarun; 3-Mason Trafford; 7-Maykon; 6-Richie Ryan (C), 8-Nicki Paterson (2-Ramon Soria 84); 10-Siniša Ubiparipović; 17-Carl Haworth (14- Tony Donatelli 76); 11-Oliver Minatel; 28-Vini Dantas (21- Pierre-Rudolph Mayard 65)
Unused substitutes: 24- Marcel DeBellis, 13- Andrés Fresenga, 15- Philippe Davies, 23- Hamza Elias
Head Coach: Marc Dos Santos
FTL — Chris Nurse (caution) 15th minute; Martin Nuñez (caution)- 32nd
OTT — Nicki Paterson (caution)- 70th; Drew Beckie (caution)- 81st
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Randy Cook, Rubiel Vazquez
Fourth Official: Felix Carranzo
FORT LAUDERDALE – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers defeated Ottawa Fury 2-0 in the opening match of the 2014 NASL season in front of 3,105 fans at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The Strikers led for majority of the match on an early goal from Rafael Alves before Darnell King ensured the Strikers claimed all three points with a late strike in the second half.
The game started at a fast pace in the first-ever meeting between the two sides. Neither side was too familiar with their opponent but both teams looked to attack the opposition and get on the board first.
It took Alves just 13 minutes to score the first goal of the 2014 NASL season. The big Brazilian found himself unmarked at the back post on Anderson’s driven low freekick. He slid home for his first goal for the Strikers in 15 appearances.
Strikers goalkeeper Oka Nikolov was very active in his Strikers debut. The German-born goalkeeper was one of the main acquisitions by the Strikers in the 2014 offseason and finished his first match with the Strikers with four key saves.
Chris Nurse went close to doubling the Strikers’ lead with a header at the end of the first half. His effort went just wide of the post. Richie Ryan had a chance to level the score on the stroke of halftime but was denied by Nikolov.
Alves was forced off with an injury at the halftime interval. Justin Chavez moved back into defense and substitute Manny Gonzalez stepped into midfield. The Strikers came out of the dressing rooms the stronger side and pressed for a second goal.
The insurance goal finally came in the 80th minute on a Strikers counter attack through King. Ottawa were exposed at the back after throwing numbers forward and a smart through ball from Marius Ebbers found King surging down the right. The right back attempted to unselfishly play a square ball to Anderson inside the box, but the low cross was cut out by Fury FC goalkeeper Devala Gorrick. King pounced on the loose ball and sent a vicious effort into the back of the net.
With the win, the Strikers claim first place in the NASL standings.