July 28, 2012 - (BAYAMÓN) La Tropa Naranja took a massive 3 points on Saturday against Minnesota Stars FC to bring the Islanders to 31 total points on the season. Captain Noah Delgado scored the winner to down Minnesota in the final home game the Islanders will play at Bayamón Soccer Complex.
A bittersweet departure from BSC, the Puerto Rico Islanders are looking forward to moving into their new, soccer-specific permanent home. The next home match for the PRI will be at Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel on August 18th against Ft. Lauderdale. In additional exciting news for the club, the Islanders will also be participating in the 2012 FIFA CONCACAF Champions League this Tuesday, August 2nd.
Islanders’ manager Adrian Whitbread spoke candidly to prislandersfc.com: “I was extremely disappointed with the first half. We could have found ourselves 1 or 2 goals behind. But the second half was a completely different game, and we were a completely different team. I asked them in the locker room why they were waiting for something to happen when they could make it happen. Sometimes a little negativity creeps in after a miniature run of bad form, but we got the result we needed, and now we are really looking forward to the Champions League match mid-week.”
Neither team was able to produce any truly dangerous chances in a dull first half, with a slight possession edge favoring Minnesota.
The visiting Stars FC side’s first real effort came in the 31st minute from a Justin Davis long distance effort. Islanders’ keeper Richard Martin was able to parry the low skimming attempt. Martin came up with a fine double save from the ensuing corner, and the Minnesota attacking pressure was stifled for the rest of the half.
The Islanders offense woke up in 35th minute, after Josh Hansen was taken down in an advanced position towards the middle of the pitch. Skipper Noah Delgado blasted the free kick into the wall and the ricochet sent the ball out wide. As the return cross was delivered, Delgado tried an ambitious overhead effort that was saved by Stars FC keeper Matt Van Oekel.
Puerto Rico’s Nicholas Addlery was able to find space and get a shot off from inside the box towards the end of the half, but the strong effort was pushed out for an ultimately harmless corner.
Both teams continued to scheme their way into the back of the net, but found no way through. The half ended Puerto Rico 0-0 Minnesota Stars FC.
The second half took a completely different complexion than the first. While the start of the game proved to be tame for the Islanders, the home side came out of the tunnel with goals on their minds.
The goal came quickly after the restart from captain Noah Delgado in the 49th minute. Delgado, the most active midfielder from the first half, found the ball in a comfortable position in the box and slotted home centrally for 1-0. It was his first goal of the season and well earned in the match.
Puerto Rico seemed hungry for goals after the seal was broken, and almost grabbed another just minutes later. The end result of some trademark ball control and skill from Jonathan Faña was a dangerous cross that was almost enough for Addlery to double the lead. Osei Telesford then powered in a header from a corner but was well saved. Van Oekel also blocked his follow up effort.
Defensively, Puerto Rico comfortably held the one goal lead for the remainder of the match. Stars FC’s Miguel Ibarra saw red in extra time just before the conclusion of the match. Puerto Rico travels to El Salvador Tuesday the 2nd in Champions League play. The next league match for the Islanders will be August 5th away at San Antonio to face the top of the table Scorpions. 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 7:00PM.