Late Comeback Propels Strikers to Tie

Coudet’s penalty kick the equalizer in the 90th minute

Fort Lauderdale – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers continued their inaugural season tonight as they hosted the NSC Minnesota Stars in front of 4,442 fans at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Strikers were looking to bounce back after a tough loss last week against Edmonton FC and shift the season momentum towards their side. Minnesota was looking to stay hot after they opened up their season with a win over Atlanta.

What looked like a sure victory for Minnesota, turned into a tie when the Strikers evened the score in the 90th minute with a late penalty kick.

“We felt that we were better tonight, soccer wise,” stated Strikers Head Coach Daryl Shore. “We were frustrated that we weren’t up a couple goals at halftime, but we have to keep fighting and we’ll get better. They made some great saves, but tonight we created great chances and as long as you have create chances, the goals will come.”

The Strikers showed great possession of the ball in the first half, which included four shots on goal. The Strikers’ best opportunity to strike first occurred in the 22nd minute when Strikers Defender Zach Kirby’s ensuing free kick after a yellow card penalty was denied by Minnesota Goalkeeper and last week’s NASL ‘Defensive Player of the Week’ Joe Warren on a diving save.

Minnesota was slow to start the game, but soon found their offensive stride as the team collected five shots in the first half. In the 39th minute, the Strikers defense was able to fend off a barrage of Minnesota attempts to score.

Before the end of the first half, the Strikers had two great scoring chances in as many minutes, that included a Martin Nunez cross in front of the net and a Brian Arguez shot that cleared the crossbar after weaving his way through the Minnesota defense. The first half ended in a scoreless tie.

In the 61st minute, Minnesota was able to break the deadlock when Forward Devin Del Do scored off a header from a free kick, slipping it past Strikers Goalkeeper Nick Platter.

In the 87th minute, Strikers Midfielder Eduardo Coudet broke free of the Minnesota defense and fired a shot that missed the right post by inches.

With thirty seconds left in regular time, the Strikers finally achieved the equalizer on a penalty kick goal by Eduardo Coudet after Strikers Midfielder Brian Shriver was taken down in the box.

In what was one of the more thrilling matches in the 2011 NASL season thus far, the NSC Minnesota Stars and Fort Lauderdale Strikers drew even in tonight’s match, 1-1. The Strikers go to 0-1-1 on the season as Minnesota goes to 1-0-1.

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