First half tallies from defender Mallan Roberts, forward Daryl Fordyce and another from midfielder Neil Hlavaty in the second stanza gave host FC Edmonton a 3-1 win over Minnesota United FC on Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium.
The result ended FC Edmonton’s five game winless streak to close out its NASL Spring Season, while Minnesota United falls out of connection to host Soccer Bowl this coming November.
The Eddies opened the scoring in the 11th minute of play when Hlavaty sent a corner into the box, it was cleared back to him and on his second attempt he found Roberts charging into the far post, heading it passed Minnesota goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel for his first goal and 1-0 advantage.
Edmonton made it 2-0 when midfielder Shaun Saiko’s cross off a counter attack that found Fordyce who headed it home in the 24th minute.
Defender Lance Laing had an opportunity to make in 3-0 in the 39th minute, cutting into the box and hitting a right-footed shot that was stopped by Van Oekel.
Brazilian forward Pablo Campos had two consecutive chances to get Minnesota on the board just before halftime, however his shots in the 40th and 43rd minutes were saved by goalkeeper John Smits.
“I’m please that the attitude of the players from the first whistle has been excellent,” said FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller at halftime. “I am just a bit concern that we are playing the ball in the wrong areas, but I have to say that we have been fabulous and dangerous going forward.”
Eddies had another chance to increase their lead five minutes into the final stanza however the header by defender Albert Watson was saved by keeper Van Oekel.
United finally got on the scoreboard in the 67th minute when second-half substitute Miguel Ibarra scored off an assist from defender Justin Davis.
With six minutes remaining, Eddies forward Michael Cox was fouled by Davis inside United’s 18-yard box which resulted in the referee awarding a penalty. Hlavaty scored his second goal of the season off the shot from 12 yards in the 85th minute for the 3-1 final.
"I thought Edmonton did a great job, especially in the first half,” said Minnesota United coach Manny Lagos. “They exposed us and we weren't able to come back from that."
Miller added: “It has been a huge learning curve for me. I had to learn the league, the stadium and the team. I am so proud of our team and their strong finish bodies well for the fall season."
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