FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (May 26, 2012) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2W-4T-3L) tied 1-1 against the Atlanta Silverbacks (0W-5T-4L) at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, May 26th. Strikers midfielder Mark Anderson scored his third goal of the season in the draw. The Strikers played the final 16 minutes of the match a man down after captain Toni Ståhl was sent off with his second yellow card.
“We’re a little disheartened because we didn’t get the result we felt we deserved,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore.
The Strikers had the majority of the chances in the match, especially in the first half when they out-shot Atlanta seven to one. In the 38th minute, Mark Anderson broke into the box and appeared to be tripped by Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes. The referee did not call the penalty and the half ended 0-0.
In the second half, the Strikers struck first. Pat Otte took a pass just outside the box and fired a hard shot toward net. The ball was deflected, but right to Mark Anderson who fired a right-footed half volley off the underside of the crossbar and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
The Silverbacks equalized in the 69th minute through NASL leading goal-scorer Reinaldo Navia. Ciaran O’Brien fought off a Strikers defender and hit Navia with a pass to set up the goal.
The Silverbacks’ goal was preceded by a play where Pat Otte was driving toward the goal when Illyas again came far off his line and appeared to trip Otte. No call was made, and when Strikers captain Toni Ståhl came to speak with the referee he was shown a yellow card for dissent.
In the 73rd minute of the match Ståhl attempted a sliding tackle and was issued his second yellow card of the match and ejected. Stahl will miss the Strikers next NASL match on Saturday, June 2nd against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Next up for the Strikers is a trip to Stanford, Calif. to face the San Jose Earthquakes in the third round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 29th at 10:30pm ET.
“We’re excited. Any time you get a chance to play an MLS team it’s exciting,” said Shore. “We know it’s not going to be an easy game, but we are going there to win the game.”
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