Strikers' End Successful 2016
Ottawa, Ontario (Saturday) -- The Fort Lauderdale Strikers ended the 2016 NASL campaign at TD Place in Ottawa with a 1-0 victory over the Fury FC. Italian International Amauri scored his fifth goal of the campaign assisted by Kleberson midway through the second half. Fort Lauderdale's win means the club equals its all-time record of 41 points in an NASL season. The Strikers the year also achieved the club's longest ever US Open Cup run. Fort Lauderdale advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup after eliminating two MLS sides (DC United and Orlando City SC) and was the last non-MLS team in the competition.
The Strikers started today's game on the front foot with Junior Sandoval creating an opportunity from a Fury giveaway in minute three. The Honduran midfielder drilled a shot to the low corner but Ottawa goalkeeper Romuald Peiser made an outstanding save. A minute a later, it was Amauri creating danger from a corner, but his header was stopped again by Peiser. Strikers goalkeeper Bruno was then called into action when Ryan Williams tried his luck from long range, but managed to clear it easily. Lance Rozeboom almost managed to give Ottawa the lead with a laser beam shot from outside, but Bruno managed to clear it once again. The Fury almost went ahead before halftime when Haworth broke through the Strikers defense and found himself one on one with the keeper, but his shot went just wide.
In the second half, Ottawa came out firing and created some good chances to score. Rozeboom was particularly active and created their best opportunity to score with another powerful long range shot, but Bruno came up with a brilliant diving save to keep the game at 0-0. Then the game changed in the 66th minute when the Strikers scored on their first shot on target when Kleberson's free kick was headed into the back of net by Amauri. From that moment forward, the game became more open and free flowing. The Fury continued to dominate possession, while the Strikers tried to take their best chances off the counterattack. Carl Haworth and substitute Thomas Stewart created some of Ottawa's best opportunities, but couldn't beat Bruno. The Strikers could have finished the game off in the 76th minute when Victor Pineda broke through the Fury's defense and found himself one on one with the keeper. He managed to round Peiser, but couldn't get his feet set. After being pushed wide, Pineda tried to find an incoming Amauri in the middle, but couldn't get a good shot off and went wide. Despite Ottawa's constant possession in the final ten minutes, they were not able to beat Bruno and the game ended 1-0 in favor of the Strikers.
Coach Caio Zanardi says:
"We had a great win today and equaled a team record 41 points for the season. I thank all my players and technical staff for a fantastic season. We had the best point total even in the spring for this club (15) and the deepest run in club history in the US Open Cup. We beat two MLS teams on our way to being the only non-MLS team in the quarterfinals. "
Fort Lauderdale won the season series against Ottawa this season and looks for a season sweep on Saturday.
The Strikers have collected two vans full of goods for distribution in Haiti during October home games. The island nation is suffering from the impact of Hurricane Matthew. The effort was spearheaded by current players Jean-Marc Alexandre and Pascal Millien as well as former player Stephane Guillaume.
The Strikers are wearing pink kits for all matches in October as part of the #DrivePink Campaign in cooperation with AutoNation and the Breast Cancer Research foundation.
Former Juventus and Italy forward Amauri scored his fifth goal of the season. Amauri signed with Fort Lauderdale on August 9.
The Strikers final point tally of 41 equals a club record for NASL play set last season.
Geison Moura has started five successive games and scored the winning goal against Edmonton on October 12 and Puerto Rico on October 15. The Brazilian winger had started just one match in the month of September, a 1-1 draw at Rayo OKC on September 18.
Junior Sandoval has played in all eight matches since signing with Fort Lauderdale on September 23.
Pascal Millien who was signed on September 23 by the Strikers has played in seven games out of a possible eight in that period.
Bruno made his 17th successive start in goal and has kept six clean sheets in that period.
The Strikers advanced the furthest of any non-MLS team this season in the US Open Cup eliminating USL side Richmond Kickers and MLS sides DC United and Orlando City SC before falling to the Chicago Fire in the quarterfinal round.
The Strikers are the only team in history to competitively defeat each of the other four active pro clubs in the state. Fort Lauderdale made history defeating Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer on June 29, 2016 in the US Open Cup fifth round at Camping World Stadium.
Scoring Summary by half
1st 2nd FT
FTL 0 1 1
OTT 0 0 0
66' FTL - Amauri (Kleberson)
Shots on Target: 3-6
Blocked Shots: 2-3
Total Passes: 261-441
Pass Accuracy Percentage: 72-87.3
Yellow Cards: 3-1
Red Cards: 0-0
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-2-3-1) - Bruno; Geison, Attakora, Agbossoumonde(C), Zapata; Sandoval (Gonzalez 84'), Fernandes; Pineda, Millien (Kleberson 61' ), Angulo, Amauri
Unused Substitutes: Reynares, Blandon, Maicon
Ottawa Fury (3-4-2-1) - Peise; Roberts, Alves, Obasi; Tissot Lance Bruna (Stewart 71') DIxon (Porter 76'); Williams, Haworth; Gentile (Mwanga 76' )
Unused Subs: DeBellis, Balchan, Mauro
OTT 36' Alves YC
FTL 42' Geison Moura YC
FTL 48' Pineda YC
FTL 90'+4 Bruno YC
About the Fort Lauderdale Strikers
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are part of the 13-team North American Soccer League (NASL). Fort Lauderdale has made the postseason four times in five NASL Modern Era seasons. The club's history dates back to 1977 and the original NASL. The Strikers play at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium. For more information, visit Strikers.com or follow @FTLStrikers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram .
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North American Soccer League Stories from October 29, 2016
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- Strikers' End Successful 2016 - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
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