Second-half goals from Aly Alberto Hassan and Colin Murphy were the difference as the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers defeated the visiting Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), 3-0, in a preseason friendly at Lockhart Stadium on Friday.
After a scoreless first half, trialist’s Murphy opened the scoring in the 70th minute with a tidy finish from just inside the box on a defense-splitting ball from Manny Gonzalez.
Hassan continued his impressive preseason form with a brace. His first goal came at the back post on a pinpoint low cross from Gonzalo De Mujica on the right flank. Just four minutes later Hassan beat the goalkeeper to a backpass from a defender and slotted the ball into an empty net for his second score.
The Strikers had numerous chances to take the lead in the first half. Mark Anderson and Carlos Salazar went close with long distance strikers and Rafael Alves hit the post with a header.
An almost entirely new eleven took the field in the second half. Marius Ebbers hit the post and a thunderous Alves drive from range was stopped by a fingertip save from the FGCU goalkeeper.
At the other end, trialist goalkeeper Eric Reyes made the save of the match to tip a long-range looping volley over the bar to help preserve the clean sheet for the Strikers. He replaced Oka Nikolov at halftime who was making his preseason debut for the Strikers.
The Strikers depart for Haiti tomorrow morning for an international friendly against Don Bosco FC at the new Parc St. Thérèse in in Petion-Ville on Sunday.