July 1, 2012 - Edomonton- It was a Sunday matinee in Alberta, Canada for a clash between the Puerto Rico Islanders and the hosts, FC Edmonton. The Islanders secured a point at Clarke Stadium, earing 4 points from thier last two matches away from home. Their next match will be July 4th at NSC Stadium in Minnesota at 8:30PM. As always, fans can watch the game at the Islanders' Watch Party in Coladas Fine Puerto Rican Cuisine and Frozen Drink Bar at Verdanza Hotel in Isla Verde, starting at 8:00 p.m.
"A good point on the road adjusting to a long journey, and time zone change. These arent excuses but facts, maybe now having a three hour flight to Minesota for our next game will have everybody adjusted and ready for three points," said Head Coach Adrian Whitbread.
The first half started favorably for the host side, with the Canadian team controlling the majority of the attacking play. Attackers Shaun Saiko, Yashir Pinto, and Ilja Van Leerdham combined nicely to pressure the Islanders' box all half, but could not break the scoring seal.
The first legitimate chance of the game came only after 5 minutes, when the ball broke to van Leerdham on the left side of the box, but the Edmonton #8 could only bend a mid-range effort agonizingly close, ultimately high and wide right. The Dutchman was later booked in the 21st minute.
In the 32nd minute, Edmonton’s Shaun Saiko displayed a wonderful piece of skill, receiving the ball at the top of the box and flicking it up and over his marker with the heel of his foot. In a free advanced position in the box, the young Canadian could only send his low effort just wide left of the net.
The Islander’s best chance of the first half came in the 39th minute. After FC Edmonton defender Kevin Hatchi was booked for clipping Islander’s defender Richard Martinez, Jarad van Schaik sent the ensuing free-kick just wide and over to keeper Lance Parker’s right.
A powerful header by Edmonton’s Paul Hamilton that flew just over the bar was the final chance of the first half. The teams returned to the locker room knotted with the score 0-0.
The second half began fortuitously for the Islanders, when in the 57th minute, FC Edmonton’s defender Kevin Hatchi was sent off for his second yellow card. Attack-minded players van Leerdham and Pinto were subsequently substituted. FC Edmonton seemed temporarily energized after the sending off, but could only muster a series of half chances.
The Islanders almost found a way through in the 79th, when Joshua Hansen fed Jonathan Faña at the top of the box, but his effort after a slick turn was well saved. And again in the 86th, Eddie's keeper Lance Parker was beaten, but Paul Hamilton was able to clear off the goal-line.
The full time whistle blew still with the score 0-0.
The Islanders now sit in 2nd place in the NASL, one point behind the San Antonio Scorpions and have 24 points from 13 games this season.