FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Sept. 1, 2012) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (9W-6T-9L) lost 3-0 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies (11W-6T-7L) in front of 5,659 fans at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night. Fort Lauderdale were put short-handed in the 19th minute when midfielder Michael Tetteh was shown a red card for violent conduct. The Strikers nearly took leads in the first and second half before the Rowdies broke through in the 78th minute. Tampa Bay scored twice more after the initial strike. The Strikers are now in fifth place after a win by Carolina in their match. Fort Lauderdale faces Puerto Rico next Saturday at Lockhart Stadium on Sept. 8.
With the victory the Rowdies clinched a spot in this year's NASL Playoffs.
“You can’t expect a team to play 70 minutes down a man and hang on like that, but I’m proud of our guys effort,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore.
After the red card was issued to Tetteh, the Strikers continued to press and had several opportunities to score. Coming out of half time, forward Andy Herron was subbed on for Abe Thompson and produced a scoring chance almost immediately. Herron was put through on goal behind the Rowdies defense and put the ball in the net. Unfortunately Herron was whistled for being offside and the Strikers were forced to regroup.
The match stayed tight until the 78th minute when Raphael Cox scored for Tampa Bay off a Luke Mulholland corner kick. Takuya Yamada flicked a header into the small area and Cox redirected the ball past Matt Glaeser.
Pressing for the tie, the Strikers were left vulnerable on the counter attack and were victimized twice. Once by Frankie Sanfilippo in the 82nd minute and again in second half stoppage time by Carl Cort. The Rowdies also had a goal disallowed for offsides in the 85th minute.