EDMONTON, AB. (July 1, 2012) – The downpour subsided just in time for kick off on Sunday as the Eddies faced the Puerto Rico Islanders at Clarke Stadium in front of 1,474 fans.
Twelve points and four positions separated the two sides going in to the Canada Day contest but it was seventh place FC Edmonton who took it to the second place Islanders early in the match.
After switching from the usual 4-3-3 formation to a 4-4-2, the Eddies were able to control possession in the midfield and build the play from the back. Despite dominating play in the first half however, FC Edmonton was unable to find the first goal.
In the 33rd minute, a little magic from FCE midfielder Shaun Saiko who was able to turn the Islanders defender expertly and got a shot off that just missed the far post; easily FC Edmonton’s best chance of the half.
The only black eye from the first 45 were the two yellow cards handed out to both Ilja van Leerdam and Kévin Hatchi who will both miss the next game with five cautions each on the season.
The second half started off much the same as the first, with FC Edmonton dominating possession but unable to finish. The news for Hatchi went from bad to worse in the 58th when the defender was judged to have kicked the ball away after the whistle, according to the referee.
Hatchi was shown his second yellow and the Eddies were forced to play the remainder of the game with 10 men.
Despite the disadvantage, coach Harry Sinkgraven made some subs, bringing Sérisay Barthélémy on for Michael Cox and then Dominic Oppong on for van Leerdam and Kyle Porter on for Yashir Pinto, and the Eddies continued to press for the go-ahead goal.
Lance Parker finally had to make a save in the 79th and did well to parry the ball to the side and was fouled in the process.
In the end, the Eddies held on for an important point and will travel to San Antonio for an Independence Day clash against the Scorpions.
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