Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strikers Crushed by Tampa

Yesterday the Florida Derby between FC Tampa Bay and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers was renewed in front of a crowd of 4,248 Fourth of July spectators at Al Lang field in St. Petersburg Florida, who witnessed a resounding 4-2 victory for 'the-team-that-should-be-called-the-Rowdies' over their historic in-state rivals.  It was the Strikers first loss in the last seven outings.

Tampa scored first in the 15th minute, when Millien headed in a corner kick from Andres Arango.  Before the Strikers could respond, the match was suspended in the 31st minute due to lightning in the Tampa area; but after a 59 minute dealy, play was resumed, and the Strikers scored in the 39th minute from a Penatly Kick by Eduardo 'Chaco' Coudet-- his sixth goal of the season-- after a handball in the box by Tampa's Kwame Watson-Siriboe.  Thus the first half ended in a 1 - 1 tie.

The second half’s first goal came at the 55 minute mark when FC Tampa Bay’s Pascal Millien took a pass from Tsuyoshi Yoshitake and slotted home a left-footed shot past Glaeser to put Tampa Bay up 2-1.  Then, FC Tampa Bay threatened to put the game out of reach when Pascal Millien drove in on net and connected with Aaron King for Tampa Bay’s third goal in the 63rd minute.  It was beginning to look like a rout; but in the 68th minute the Strikers Eduardo Coudet found a streaking Mike Palacio who dribbled past two Tampa Bay defenders and scored from just outside the 18-yard-box to make the score 3-2 and bring the Strikers to within a goal.

Unfortunately, that was the last goal of the night for the Strikers.  In the 71st minute, a pass from Pascal Millien found Mike Ambersley, who scored Tampa Bay’s fourth goal of the night and his seventh of the year.  And that was the match, with the Rowdies crushing the Strikers 4-2 at home in the second meeting of the Florida Derby this year.

The Strikers are now tied with FC Tampa Bay at 17 points on the season, and are tied for fifth place in the NASL standings.  Going back to the original series between the Strikers and the Rowdies of the old NASL, these two teams have played 24 times.  Tampa Bay leads the series by one match, 12 wins and one tie, to Fort Lauderdale's record of 11 wins and a tie.  The Strikers return home to Lockhart Stadium on Saturday against the horribly-named Atlanta Silverbacks.