FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2011) - An Abe Thompson hat-trick and a Brian Shriver brace put the Fort Lauderdale Strikers through to the NASL semi-finals with a 5-0 victory over FC Edmonton in the highest team-scoring game this season on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Lockhart Stadium.
"To be honest I expected us to be good tonight, but I didn't expect to win that way," said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore."Edmonton's a good team and I think the second goal deflated them."
Thompson finished off his hat-trick with a well-placed shot into the far post corner in the 77th minute to finish the five-goal rout.
Shriver opened up the scoring right before the end of the first half. He received a deflected pass and took on defender Paul Hamilton. After a single touch on his left foot, he slotted it home near post for the seventh of his season.
"When we got into halftime, we told the guys we can't live in the past. It was good to come away with a goal," said Shore.
Thompson's first goal, which came 26 seconds after the second half started, scored as he redirected a cross from Lance Laing. He beat the FC Edmonton defense to the far post and buried the cross.
The entire game the Strikers piled on the pressure on the FC Edmonton defense, pushing the ball forward. In the 54th minute, following a long ball, Mike Palacio stumbled, collected the pass, and fed Shriver, who was through on goal. Shriver kept his cool and finished far post on his left foot again, making it eight on the season.
Eight minutes later, the FC Edmonton defense were left open again for a counter-attack, and Scott Gordon capitalized on it. All alone on the right, Gordon fed the ball into the middle, where Thompson headed the ball past goalkeeper Rein Baart.
The Strikers dominated the attacking aspect of the game, finishing with 13 shots on target in comparison to FC Edmonton's one.
"The guys had a great week of training and it showed that they brought their success in training to the field," said Shore.
With 13 minutes left in the match, Thompson broke through on goal again. This time, he took his chance well with a finesse finish, contrary to his playing style. His curled shot finished far-post, sealing his hat-trick, his seventh of the season, and the first playoff victory for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers next playoff game is on the road against the Puerto Rico Islanders, due to the result of the FC Tampa Bay and NSC Minnesota game, on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m. The Strikers play the second leg of the semi-final at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, Oct.15, at 7:30p.m.
Photo by Jon Van Woerden
45' - FTL: Brian Shriver
46' - FTL: Abe Thompson (Lance Laing)
54' - FTL: Brian Shriver (Mike Palacio)
62' - FTL: Abe Thompson (Scott Gordon)
77' - FTL: Abe Thompson (Bryan Arguez)
36' - EDM: Antonio Rago
57' - FTL: Brian Shriver
58' - EDM: Paul Hamilton
68' - EDM: Shaun Saiko
83' - EDM: Paul Hamilton (Red card)
Fort Lauderdale: Glaeser, Stahl, Gordon, Lancaster, Laing (Granado), Restrepo (Pecka), Arguez, Mayen, Palacio, Shriver (Nunez), Thompson
Edmonton: Baart, Surprenant, Jonke, Hamilton, Rago, Saiko, Kooy, Oppong (Porter), Van Leerdam, Yamada (Semenets), Cox (LeRoy)
Shots (FTL 18, EDM 7) Saves (FTL 1, EDM 8) Fouls (FTL 9, EDM 7) Offsides (FTL 2, EDM 0) Corners (FTL 6, EDM 1) SOG (FTL 13, EDM 1)
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