Brazilian Duo Score as The Fort Lauderdale Strikers Defeat In-State Rivals 2-1
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers earned their first win of the 2015 season Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium with a 2-1 victory over the Jacksonville Armada FC in the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
Dubbed by fans on both sides earlier today as the “Battle for the Atlantic,” the game was an intense affair with six yellow cards and two red cards.
Brazilians Léo Moura and Victor Giro “PC” scored their first goals for the Strikers in front of a crowd of 4,883. The winner by PC came on a one-time shot from outside the 18-yard-box, bending it past two Armada FC defenders and goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo in the 65th minute. Shawn Chin was credited with the assist as his blocked effort reached PC in midfield.
Moura, the former Flamengo captain and current skipper of the Strikers, opened his goalscoring account just before halftime. Moura converted a penalty kick after Lucas Scaglia took down PC in the box in front of referee Younes Marrakchi. The midfielder made no mistake with a clinical finish to his left after sending goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo the opposite direction.
“I felt really happy to score the first goal and to help the team get a win,” Moura said. “That’s the most important thing. It’s only the second game. I think we are adjusting really well. We are ready for the trip to Canada next week.”
The Strikers lead was short lived, however. Four minutes after the break Scaglia found Bochy Hoyos with a lofted through ball into the box. Hoyos controlled the ball before slotting it past Strikers’ goalkeeper David Meves at the near post.
Moura had one other scoring chance in the 75th minute when he guided a shot just over the top. In the 87th minute, substitute Walter Ramirez nearly put the result beyond reach. His hard shot hit the side of the net.
Tempers flared in the last few minutes as the Armada FC looked to gain possession of the ball and push for an equalizer.
Fort Lauderdale’s Stefano Pinho was issued a yellow card for pushing an opponent in the 90th minute. Pinho was shown a red card one minute into extra time .
Jacksonville’s Lucas Trejo was also sent off after receiving two yellow cards. Fort Lauderdale’s Frankie Sanfilippo and Maron Freitas received cautions.
Coach Marcelo Neveleff fielded nine players in the starting lineup from the Strikers’ opening night. James Marcelin started in place of the injured Ryan Adeleye while Dani Sánchez was selected at the expense of Aly Alberto Hassan.
The win puts the Strikers in the early lead for the Coast Cup, the annual supporters-run trophy awarded to the Florida-based team that wins the series between the three Sunshine State clubs.
The Strikers currently hold the Coastal Cup based on its 6 points to 3 advantage over Tampa Bay in 2014.
Fort Lauderdale’s next two matches are away from home. The Strikers head north of the border to Canada for a match on Sunday, April 19 at Edmonton, followed by a Saturday, April 25 meeting at Ottawa.