Fort Lauderdale – The Strikers fought to the finish as their four game unbeaten streak was snapped by the Carolina RailHawks. The RailHawks came from behind for the 4-2 win at Wake Med Soccer Park. The Strikers earned five points during their four game road trip. Fort Lauderdale returns home Saturday, May 14th to take on cross-state rival FC Tampa Bay at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium.
“Tonight we got caught in a shootout against a very attacking team, which you can’t do,” said Head Coach Daryl Shore. “Give them credit as they came after us after we scored our goal and our response was too late.”
The Strikers opened the match with a young squad, most seeing their first action of the year and managed a quick start as they jumped ahead in the 8th minute.
Midfielder Brian Shriver started the play when he carried the ball down the right flank. Shriver slid a cross into the box where Patrick Otte met the ball with a half volley and buried it into the far corner of the net. It was Otte’s first start and goal of the season.
Carolina came back in the 16th minute to tie the game at 1-1 when Etienne Barbara found Pablo Campos. Campos connected with a header in a congested Strikers penalty area where it bounced off the crossbar and across the goal line.
Strikers’ goalkeeper Nic Platter made three great saves in the 27th minute, but before the ball could be cleared from the box, Barbara was fouled for a penalty kick. Barbara shot to his left and Platter dove that direction, but was unable to come up with the save as the RailHawks took a 2-1 lead.
After the third goal of the match, the atmosphere on the pitch became rough for both teams. Strikers’ defender Scott Gordon received a yellow card in the 32nd minute. Minutes later, Gordon found more action in the defensive end when he cleared the ball off the line. Before the end of the half, Platter made another huge, one-handed save.
The second half started where the first half finished when Jean Philippe Peguero and Bryan Arguez received yellow cards in the opening minutes. Later on in the match, Toni Stahl was also cautioned.
Platter made another big save in the 60th minute but the ball rolled out of bounds for a Carolina corner kick. Campos put Carolina up 3-1 with his second goal of the game when he headed the ball down and directly into the goal.
The Strikers fought down to the final minutes when David Santamaria came off the bench and scored his first career goal in stoppage time. Santamaria cut Carolina’s lead to one goal when he slipped behind the defense to win Aaron Hohlbein’s through ball and placed it past the goalkeeper. Seconds later, the RailHawks retaliated when substitute Allan Russell scored the final goal of the match.
The Strikers’ record now stands at 1-3-2 and Carolina improves to 4-1-1.