Match Recap: Strikers 1, Rowdies 0
Photo credit: Jon van Woerden
Match: Fort Lauderdale Strikers (FTL) vs Tampa Bay Rowdies (TBR)
Competition: 2014 NASL Fall Season- Matchday 4
Venue: Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 85°F, cloudy
Full statistics and more in the Match Center
Strikers Defeat Rivals Rowdies at Lockhart
Fafà Picault's goal ends Strikers seven-game winless streak
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Saturday, August 2, 2014) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers defeated rivals Tampa Bay Rowdies by a score of 1-0 on a beautiful night at Lockhart Stadium. Fafà Picault scored the game’s only goal on a full volley in the second half against his former side.
The Strikers started the game quickly and within the first six minutes created three chances. Just seconds after the kickoff Jenison Brito forced Matt Pickens into a save. Picault and Martin Nuñez had opportunities from the edge of the box but flashed their efforts wide.
Attacking at will, the Strikers sent long balls over the top to utilize the pace of Picault. Overlapping runs from right back Darnell King continued to get the better of Anthony Wallace all game. Fort Lauderdale took a total of 21 shots on the night.
Pickens made six saves, including two impressive diving stops on Picault in the first and second half.
Against the run of play, the Rowdies should have taken the lead in the 43rd minute when Blake Wagner missed an open net. A low cross from the right bypassed the Strikers defense and keeper Kamil Contofalsky, but Wagner, alone in space, squandered the easy opportunity wide.
A move started by goalkeeper Contofalsky nearly resulted in a goal for the Strikers shortly after the second-half restart. A long clearance wasn’t dealt with by the Rowdies defense, leading to an exchange between Brito and Nuñez. Anderson ended up with the ball at the edge of the box, but his shot struck defender Tamika Mkandawire and trickled just wide of the post.
More heroics from Pickens came in the 66th minute to deny Brito a header opportunity. The Brazilian forward connected on a cross from King but Pickens was equal to the header.
The breakthrough finally came in the 72nd minute through Picault. The speedy forward anticipated a rebound after an effort from Nuñez struck the bar. He was first to the ball and got his reward with a full volley into the back of the net for the game-winning goal.
The Rowdies failed to threaten the Strikers goal in the second half, creating just two shots, as the hosts held on for a comfortable win at home.
FTL- Fafà Picault 5 (unassisted)- 72nd minute
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-4-2) – Kamil Contofalsky; Darnell King, Rafael Alves, James Marcelin, Ivan Guerrero (C); Mark Anderson (Yaikel Pérez, 74), Manny Gonzalez, Shawn Chin, Martin Nuñez (Walter Ramirez, 78); Fafà Picault, Jenison Brito (Darryl Gordon 90)
Subs not used: David Meves, Mitchell Lopez, Aly Alberto Hassan, Colin Murphy
Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-4-2) – Matt Pickens; Frankie Sanfilippo (C), J.P. Rodrigues, Tamika Mkandawire, Anthony Wallace; Shane Hill, Darel Russell, Lucky Mkosana (Brian Shriver, 46), Blake Wagner (Evans Frimpong, 71); Casey Townsend (Ricardo Morris, 71), Georgi Hristov
Subs not used: Ryan Thompson, Willie Hunt, Amani Walker, Keith Savage
FTL- Darnell King (caution)- 30th minute
TBR- Darel Russell (caution)- 68’
Officials: Referee: Kevin Terry Jr.; Assistants: Jose Da Silva, Rubiel Vazquez; Fourth Official: Randy Cook