Strikers Tie with FC Edmonton, Face Carolina in 2012 NASL Playoffs
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (9W-9T-10L) completed their 2012 regular season with a 2-2 tie against FC Edmonton (5W-10T-13L) at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday. The Strikers had a 2-0 lead going into the 90th minute before FC Edmonton scored twice to pull even. Fort Lauderdale will travel to face the Carolina RailHawks in the first round of the NASL Playoffs unless the Minnesota Stars FC defeat the San Antonio Scorpions in the final regular season NASL match. If Minnesota wins, the Strikers will instead travel to face the Puerto Rico Islanders.
“It was disappointing on our end because we should have left here with three points, but give Edmonton credit for two good goals,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. “Getting ready for the playoffs, we felt we had a good week of practice and plan on having another good week coming up. We feel like we have a good group and you have to beat the best teams to make the finals, so it doesn’t matter who we play, we just hope to have a successful run like we did last year.”
Fort Lauderdale took an early 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when Edmonton’s Kevin Hatchi committed a foul in the penalty area, putting Strikers captain Abe Thompson at the penalty spot. Thompson struck the ball toward his right and into the side netting to beat Lance Parker, despite Parker diving to the correct side.
The goal was Thompson’s fourth of the season giving him 17 all-time in his Strikers career, just one behind Romario who tops the record books with 18.
The match would stay 1-0 until the 78th minute when the Strikers broke through with a combination of passes resulting in Abe Thompson playing a through ball which Aly Hassan was able to chip over Parker who was sprinting off his line to attempt to cut off the pass. The goal was Hassan’s sixth of the season in the NASL and ninth in all competitions, including his three US Open Cup goals.
The Strikers finish the regular season with two fewer points than in 2011. They will open the 2012 NASL Playoffs on the road versusu the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:00pm.