Goals from forward Fafà Picault and midfielder Mark Anderson gave the host Fort Lauderdale Strikers a 2-0 victory over the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions at Lockhart Stadium on Friday evening.
The crowd of 3,006 also witness the Strikers earn their first victory over the Scorpions since August 17, 2013.
"The team really played unbelievably good game today," said Strikers coach, Günter Kronsteiner. "San Antonio is really a tough team to play, but we did a great job against them. We did not allow them too many opportunities. It was a very well deserved team."
The Strikers dominated the early proceedings of the match, largely in part to a change of formation by Strikers coach Günter Kronsteiner. Boosted by the return of several players from injury and suspension, the Austrian tactician fielded a strong attacking side in a classic 4-4-2 diamond midfield formation.
Led by the attacking trio of Jenison Brito, Fafà Picault, and Aly Alberto Hassan, the Strikers forced Scorpions goalkeeper Josh Saunders into seven saves in the first 45 minutes of action. He made 11 saves on the night.
Saunders’ goal was finally breached just minutes before halftime when midfielder Walter Ramirez played Picault through on goal with just a defender and the goalkeeper to beat. A deft touch allowed Picault to skip around defender Greg Janicki before sending a low shot off the post and into the back of the net to open the scoring for his eighth tally of the year.
A red card shown to Hassan in the 64th minute of the match reduced the Strikers to ten men for the closing stages of the match.
Despite the man disadvantage, the Strikers added an insurance goal to make it 2-0 when substitute Mark Anderson scored his fourth goal of the year by firing a free kick past Saunders to double the lead.
Picault had two chances to score his first brace for the Strikers deep into injury time. Saunders came up big to deny the initial effort and the follow-up rebound.