BAYAMON, P.R. (July 7, 2012) – John Smits got his first start between the posts since May as the Eddies took on the Puerto Rico Islanders in Bayamon on Saturday night in front of 1,502 fans.
Shaun Saiko missed the game because of suspension while Lance suffered a slight injury against San Antonio on Wednesday and made way for Smits.
The ‘keeper got into the game early as Hector Ramos was able to get a hard shot off from close range in the second minute. The rookie ‘keeper did well to make the save.
Just one minute later, a cross came in from Smits’ left side and he had to punch it away to safety.
The Eddies started to get more comfortable in the Puerto Rico heat as the half rolled on and they began to gain possession of the ball.
Smits was called on again in the 29th minute when an Islanders striker cut in towards the net and let a shot go from close range. The Eddies’ ‘keeper was able to get a brilliant leg save in to keep the game scoreless.
Jonathan Faña was finally able to solve Smits in the 33rd minute with a hard shot from inside the 18-yard box, which beat Smits at the near post.
Yashir Pinto got FCE’s first good chance on net in the 36th minute. A free kick was driven into the box; Pinto was able to control the ball between defenders and drove it at the ‘keeper Richard Martin who had to make a great save to maintain the lead.
Coming in to the second half, it was the Eddies who were able to strike first. Kyle Porter sent a cross into the box intended for Pinto but the ball eluded everyone, including Martin and the game was tied.
Smits and Martin continued to make save after save in the second half to keep the game tied and that’s the way it ended.
The two teams have now played to three ties this season. They will play one more time at Clarke Stadium to determine the series winners.
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