The Puerto Rico Islanders lost their first match at home against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 3-1 at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium. The Islanders were short handed due to ten players participating in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. The Islanders will travel to Fort Lauderdale next Saturday to square off against the Strikers at Lockhart Stadium.
The Islanders created the first attacking opportunity with a set play coming out of a dead ball off a corner quick. David Foley and Joe Salem played a short ball and tried to get a cross in and the Strikers backline deflected a ball that fell at the feet of jared Van Schailk. Van Schaik’s shoot went wide.
The last play of the first half was a free kick by Foley outside the box. The ball sailed to an Islanders player whose shot sailed high over the cross bar.
In the 49th minute Martin Nunez buried a Lance Laing cross to make it 1-0. Nunez, the ex—Puerto Rico Islander came in for Captain Abe Thompson at halftime.
Fort Lauderdale extended their lead in the 82nd minute when Walter Restrepo took a pass near midfield and dribbled to the top of the box and fired a perfectly placed shot into the top corner of the net..
The Islanders answered right back in the 84th minute to make it 2-1 when recently subbed Gregory Richardson won the endline and found Jonathan Fana who put the ball in the back of the net.
The Strikers added their final goal in the second half stoppage time when a Islanders defender turned the ball over to Mike Palacio deep in Puerto Rico territory. Palacio sent a cross to the far post to a streaking Brian Shriver was waiting to pocket his third goal in two matches.
The Puerto Rico Islanders travel to Fort Lauderdale next Saturday to square off against the Strikers at Lockhart Stadium.