The Fort Lauderdale Strikers lead the Atlanta Silverbacks by a score of 2-1 after the first half of action at Lockhart Stadium in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Atlanta’s Ruben Luna cancelled out a Martin Nuñez opener before Yaikel Pérez restored the lead shortly before halftime.
Strikers left-back Iván Guerrero assisted on both of his team’s goals with precision crosses from the left.
Nuñez opened the scoring with his third goal in three games in the 21st minute of the match. After playing a give-and-go with Guerrero, the diminutive playmaker continued his run into the box to head the return cross past a helpless Eric Ati in the Silverbacks goal.
Ruben Luna scored the equalizer in the 34th minute of the match after capitalizing on a defensive error. Milton Blanco slipped his teammate through behind the napping Strikers defense for Luna to power a shot past Richard Sánchez from close range.
Yaikel Pérez restored the host’s lead with another header shortly before halftime. The Cuban forward rose highest to meet Guerrero’s cross and power the ball into the roof of the net.
Earlier in the match Pérez dazzled fans with an overhead kick in the 19th minute. The play, started by a mazy run from Martin Nuñez in midfield, culminated with an acrobatic effort from the Cuban forward that went just wide of Silverbacks goal.
Richard Sánchez came up with a trademark save to deny Atlanta from going ahead. Blanco hammered a volley from the top of the box that was destined for the bottom right corner but for the left hand of Sánchez that parried the effort wide.
“As far as I’m concerned we now have to put on a show in the second half. We looked a little flat and will now go in to the locker room to sort a few things out,” said Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes.
Strikers assistant coach Raoul Voss said: “We were very happy with the first 25 minutes. We controlled the game and had chances and could perhaps have scored another goal. But then we lost our way.
“Now we’ve got to keep the same way we’re playing but to congest the midfield. If we give them space they are very good and very technical.”
|Strikers Bring Back Gonzalez, De Mujica For 2014 NASL Season|
|Throwback Thursday - Pre-NASL: Los Angeles Defeats Washington For 1967 United Soccer Association Crown|
|RailHawks Exercises Options On Contracts Of Seven Players|
|Nassau County Celebrates Cosmos Soccer Bowl Success|
|FC Edmonton Adds Goalkeeper Farago To 2014 NASL Roster|
|Four Cosmos Players Sign Contract Extensions Through 2014 NASL Season|
|Scorpions Re-Sign Defender Janicki For 2014 NASL Season|
|Minnesota United Exercises 11 Player Options For 2014 NASL Season|
|Silverbacks 2013 Season: By The Numbers|
|Minnesota United Helps In KARE 11 Food Fight|
|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|