EDMONTON, AB. (June 10, 2012) – The clouds over Clarke cleared away just in time for kick off on Sunday and the Eddies were happy they did as they picked up three points against the Strikers in front of 1,496 fans.
For the first quarter of an hour the two teams battled back and forth with the play being fairly even. Both teams had a few shots on net but nothing that bothered either Matt Glaeser for the Strikers or Lance Parker for FC Edmonton.
Shaun Saiko made a nice run down the left side in the 21st minute, beating several defenders along the way before cutting it back into the box. The Strikers defender was the first to get his foot on the ball however and it was cleared for a corner.
The Strikers were forced to make their first substitution in the 29th minute. FCE’s Paul Hamilton went in for a 50/50 ball, he collided with Andy Herron who injured his leg on the play and was replaced by Aly Hasan.
The skies opened up in the 33rd minute, just in time for a turning point in the game. Strikers’ Abe Thompson was brought down in the box, according to the referee, and was awarded a penalty kick. Parker made a diving save to keep it out but Antonio Rago was sent off for the challenge, leaving the Eddies with 10 men for the remainder of the game.
The teams went into the locker rooms at half time tied 0-0.
Coach Harry Sinkgraven brought Michael Cox in for Paul Craig up front at the restart, which ended up being a pivotal substitution.
The second half was much the same as the first. Both teams shared possession of the ball and half-chances were available on both ends of the pitch.
It was the hometown Eddies who finally opened the scoring in the 66th minute. Saiko received a long ball from Ilja van Leerdam on the left side and the striker sent it into the box where substitute Cox was able to get a foot on it and direct it passed Glaeser.
The Strikers picked up the pressure after the goal but the Eddies backline held strong and helped Lance Parker post his first shutout of the season and third Eddies' victory.
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