FC Edmonton was held to a 1-1 draw against the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers in front of 2,316 spectators at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday afternoon.
Jamaican defender Lance Laing gave the host a 1-0 lead in the first half; however Cuban forward Yaikel Pérez scored the equalizer in the second stanza as the Strikers extend their unbeaten streak to five matches. Meanwhile, the Eddies’ have not lost at home in their last seven NASL encounters.
“Disappointed with the result today, definitely two points dropped in this game,” said FC Edmonton coach, Colin Miller. “This is a team that we could’ve beaten today but we let the victory slip away, so I’m very disappointed.”
The first chance of the match came for Edmonton in the 15th minute when a free kick cross from midfielder Neil Hlavaty gave pass to Northern Ireland defender Albert Watson whose shot was saved by Mexican goalkeeper Richard Sanchez.
In the 35th minute, a handball call on the Strikers gave the Eddies a free kick a few feet outside the box. The Eddies final broke the scoreless deadlock in the 38th minute when a free kick from Laing went past Sanchez, whose shutout streak ended at 353 minutes (six shy of the NASL record).
Moments after the goal, Strikers coaching staff began arguing the referee decision to allow a second free kick. Afterwards, both head coach Gunter Kronsteiner and goalkeepers coach Ricardo Lopes were ejected from the Strikers bench. Strikers bench player Walter Restrepo was awarded a straight red for engaging with the officials.
In the second half, Fort Lauderdale aimed for the tying goal and in the 57th minute got its wish when Perez scored his first tally with the Strikers jersey.
Strategy changed for the Eddies as pressure began to build again in the Strikers zone. With substitutions to bring in Michael Cox and Sadi Jalali, the Eddies were poised to break the deadlock. Both fresh bodies brought chances as the second half continued, with Striker keeper Sanchez forced to make numerous good saves.
|New York Cosmos||31||14||9||4||1||10|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||20||14||5||5||4||3|
|Minnesota United FC||20||14||6||2||6||2|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||18||14||5||3||6||-2|
|San Antonio Scorpions||10||14||3||1||10||-9|
|San Antonio Scorpions||20||12||6||2||4||4|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||18||12||5||3||4||5|
|Minnesota United FC||14||12||4||2||6||-5|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||8||12||2||2||8||-14|