Match Recap: Strikers 3, Indy Eleven 2
Photo credit- Jon van Woerden
Match: Fort Lauderdale Strikers (FTL) vs. Indy Eleven (IND)
Competition: North American Soccer League 2014 Spring Season- Matchday 3
Venue: Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
FTL- Martin Nuñez 1 (Carlos Salazar 1)- 8th minute
IND- Kleberson 1 (penalty kick)- 26’
FTL- Fafà Picault 1 (Iván Guerrero 1)- 69’
FTL- Marius Ebbers 1 (Iván Guerrero 2)- 73’
IND- Erick Norales 2 (Mike Ambersley 1)- 90’+4
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-2-3-1) – 1-Oka Nikolov; 21-Darnell King, 13-Justin Chavez, 2-Stefan Antonijevic, 12-Iván Guerrero (C); 8-Pecka, 6-Chris Nurse; 20-Mark Anderson (17-Shawn Chin- 68), 14-Carlos Salazar (11-Fafà Picault- 64), 9-Martin Nuñez; 19-Marius Ebbers (29-Yaikel Perez- 84)
Unused substitutes: 22-Lionel Brown, 5-Matt Hall, 23-Manny Gonzalez, 27-Colin Murphy,
Head Coach: Günter Kronsteiner
Indy Eleven (4-2-3-1) – 24-Kristian Nicht (C); 23-Fejiro Okiomah (13-Corby Moore- 83); 5-Erick Norales, 3-Jaime Frias, 18-Kyle Hyland; 4-Brad Ring, 8-Kleberson; 9-Perdo Mendes (17-Ben Spencer- 60), 22-Dylan Mares (7-Don Smart- 74), 21-Walter Ramirez; 15-Mike Ambersley
Unused substitutes: 35-Jon Dawson, 2-Andrew Stone, 6-Chris Estridge, 12-A.J. Corrado
Head Coach: Juergen Sommer
IND- Pedro Mendes (caution)- 21st minute
IND- Kleberson (caution)- 42’
FTL- Pecka (caution)- 64'
IND- Kyle Hyland (caution)- 78’
IND- Erick Norales (caution)- 90’
Officials: Referee- Daniel Fitzgerald; Assistant Referees- Lance Vanhaitsma, Paul Berg; Fourth Official- Jose Da Silva
FORT LAUDERDALE – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers moved up to third place in the NASL standings following a 3-2 victory against Indy Eleven in a thrilling match at Lockhart Stadium Saturday night.
An early goal from Strikers winger Martin Nuñez was canceled out on a penalty kick from Kleberson in a fast and furious opening 45 minutes. Second half goals from Fafà Picault and Marius Ebbers proved the difference while a late strike from Indy Eleven’s Erick Norales was merely a consolation.
The Strikers took it to Indy Elven from the opening whistle and got on the board in just the eighth minute. Carlos Salazar spotted Nuñez on the left side of the box. Some tricky footwork from the Uruguayan created just enough space for a hard, right-footed shot that went past Kristian Nicht in the Indy Eleven goal.
Indy Eleven were on the back foot following the goal, but equalized after a bit of good fortune. The Strikers were called for a handball in the box and Kleberson stepped up to take the penalty kick. Oka Nikolov guessed correctly on the shot, but the Brazilian’s effort was perfectly placed in the bottom right corner.
Indy were encouraged by the goal and stepped up the attack. Mike Ambersley had a chance go wide after a Strikers giveaway in midfield. Moments later Mark Anderson let rip from distance but a strong hand from Nicht prevented the Strikers from taking the lead.
The visitors had a chance to go ahead at the end of the half but were denied on a goal-line clearance from Justin Chavez. Mike Ambersley pounced on a rebound after Oka Nikolov had raced out of his box to deny an onrushing Indy attacker. Ambersley’s first-time effort was hard and low, but Chavez was on the line to make the goal-saving block.
Substitutions proved the difference for the Strikers in the search for a winning goal. Fafà Picault’s introduction injected pace down the right flank. The pacey winger was on hand to head home a pinpoint cross from Guerrero for his first goal in Strikers colors, giving the Strikers a 2-1 advantage.
Guerrero, who led the Strikers in assists last season, moved up to the top of the list this season with two on the night. Minutes after Picault’s goal, German forward Marius Ebbers got on the end of Guerrero’s cross from the left to double the hosts lead. It was the forward’s first goal for the Strikers.
The Eleven struck in stoppage time through defender Erick Norales, but it was too little too late as the referee blew the final whistle on the restart.
“We are very proud of our guys’ performance,” said Strikers head cach Günter Kronsteiner. “Indy has a great team; they came in with two ties against two very good teams, so to get a win against this team is a great accomplishment.”
The Strikers next travel to FC Edmonton on May 3rd at 9:00 p.m. The Strikers next home match is on Saturday May 10th against the Atlanta Silverbacks. Tickets for all Strikers home games are available at www.strikers.com or by calling 954-606-0400.