Bayamon, Puerto Rico (April 7, 2012) – With one man down, the Puerto Rico Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 on their opening game of the 2012 North American Soccer League (NASL) at Bayamon Soccer Complex.
"It’s an important win for everybody. Not just for the players, not just for me but the supporters. What you saw in the second half was what we accomplished in the preseason. We fight for one another. Have that ‘never say die’ attitude. After the second half performance we deserved the victory", said Head Coach, Adrian Whitbread.
At the beginning of the match, during the third minute of action, Islander Jonathan Faña completed a pass to captain and midfielder Noah Delgado, which resulted in a corner kick. Moments later, Frankie Sanfilippo of the Tampa Bay Rowdies made a shot towards inferior angle, but it deflected to the side.
In the 17th minute mark, Gregory Richardson took a free kick that reached Faña’s head, but it went above the goal. Right after, in the 29th minute, forward Nicholas Addlery took advantage of a mistake from the Rowdies’ defense and took a shot on goal that landed in goalkeeper Jeff Attinella’s hands. Just before the end of the first half, Faña received a pass from the left side looking for a cross, but there was no one inside the box.
After several more attempts on goal from both teams, the first half ended a 0-0 draw.
At the beginning of the second half, Antinella blocked a shot from midfielder Jared Van Schaik that glazed the crossbar in the 51st minute. Then, forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitak from the Tampa Bay Rowdies took a shot on goal that ended up in the side of the net.
The only goal of the match arrived at the 68th minute when an through ball reached Addlery, and put the Islanders ahead 1-0 on the scoreboard during the second half.
Richard Martin had a great save on Luke Mulholland in the 72nd minute, preserving the 1-0 Islanders’ lead.
The Puerto Rico Islanders’ will face the San Antonio Scorpions on April 15 at Heroes Stadium. Match begins at 7:30pm. Next home game will be on April 18 against FC Edmonton.