Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

Fort Lauderdale beats Rowdies

FORT LAUDERDALE — Don't count out the Strikers just yet.

Fort Lauderdale forward Martin Nunez, all 5 feet 6 of him, scored on a header in the 22nd minute on an assist from Stefan Antonijevic and that was enough for a 2-1 victory over the rival Rowdies at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night.

Nunez's goal snapped the Strikers' scoreless streak at 212 minutes.

"We just had to get it together," Nunez said. "This was huge playing at home because you have to get three points no matter what."

The Rowdies (3-2-5) and Strikers (4-4-2) each have 14 points, as do Carolina and Minnesota in a four-way tie for second in the NASL fall season. They all trail the New York Cosmos (21 points), who won 1-0 at Minnesota

The Rowdies dropped their second straight.

Tampa Bay came in tied for second in the league with 21 goals.

In the second half, Rowdies forward Lucky Mkosana created space and sent a pass to midfielder Keith Savage, who shot from around the penalty spot. But two defenders blocked the shot.

Paulo Jr. had a particularly strong first half and nearly made it 2-0 when get got inside the penalty box unmarked. His shot was right on target, but Rowdies keeper Diego Restrepo was able to make the save.

Bradlee Baladez scored from close range for a 2-0 Strikers lead in the 84th minute. With just seconds left, second-half substitute Carl Cort scored the Rowdies' lone goal as he volleyed a shot past Richard Sanchez for his second goal of the season.

With four games left, including a rematch at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg next Saturday, both teams need help for a chance to play in for the championship against spring season champion Atlanta, which will host the Soccer Bowl.

After the Strikers rematch next week, the Rowdies host San Antonio on Oct. 19.

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