STRIKERS U-23 CLAIM FIRST WIN AGAINST HISTORIC RIVAL
Youngsters seal first-ever points in NPSL goal-fest at #TheLock
Fort Lauderdale Strikers U-23 picked up their first ever win, coming from behind to defeat historic rivals Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 in an inspired performance at #TheLock. The 3-2 win snapped the opposition’s two-game winning streak.
“It was a great improvement from the first two games, we stayed more compact offensively and defensively,” said Head Coach Olaf Henke. “The boys executed a lot of the things we worked on in practice; still there’s a long way to go, especially in defensive transitions. It’s a first win, so we’ll definitely take it, and we’re looking forward to Sunday’s match in Jacksonville.”
It took just four minutes for the visitors to open the scoring, after forward Karamba Janneh got his head onto a rebounding ball from a corner to give his side an early lead. The U-23s did not drop their heads, and were edging closer for an equalizer after numerous efforts on goal. Midfielder Javier Clavijo leveled things up for the home team in the 26th minute. The Strikers had a goal disallowed before going into halftime tied 1-1.
Tampa Bay goalkeeper Ryan Hulings had to come off in the 62nd minute in what appeared to be a broken arm, making way for substitute keeper Saul Mendez.
The home side wasted no time testing Mendez. Within two minutes of the goalkeeper’s introduction, Joao Ramalho put the Strikers up to take the lead after firing a terrific shot from the edge of the 18-yard box, blasting it into the top of the net. British forward Danilo Orsi-Dadomo doubled the U-23’s lead in the 70th minute, getting his head onto a cross from the left flank from Clavijo.
The tackles kept flying late into the half as tensions rose, with both sides going all-in for a result. Rowdies 2 managed to get one back through a penalty in the dying moments with Janneh getting his second goal of the night. The Strikers held on to get their first win of the season.
Tampa Bay came to Lockhart with a two-game winning streak, looking to build on that after the Strikers U-23s suffered two defeats in both of their first two matches.