The Puerto Rico Islanders’ season as defending champions is off to a great start, with two straight wins on the road. Two goals from forward Jonathan Faña Frias and a fantastic game by goalkeeper Ray Burse gave the Puerto Rico Islanders the 2-0 win tonight at Tampa Bay, after their 2-1 victory against the Railhawks on April 9th.
Jonathan Faña found the back of the net in the 35th and 79th minutes at Al Lang Stadium. FC Tampa Bay put pressure on goalkeeper Ray Burse throughout the match with a season-high 23 shots, but Burse kept strong and was able to get the shutout with 6 great saves. “We are very happy with the results and the way we started the season. The guys showed a lot of character on these first two games on the road and we took our chances well when we got them. Now we have to stay focused and prepare for our home opener”, said Islanders head coach Colin Clarke.
The match remained scoreless until the 35th minute when Faña scored on an assist from David Foley, giving the Islanders a 1-0 lead. FC Tampa Bay had several chances on the first 45 minutes, when Takuya Yamada sent a header over the cross bar in the opening 10 minutes, and defender Omar Jarum missed a header in the 27th. The two teams battled it out in the second half and picked up the pace of the match. FC Tampa Bay continued to put pressure in the second half. King hit a low strike in the 64th minute, but Burse made an excellent save. Faña gave the Islanders another goal in the 79th minute, with the assist going to Gregory Richardson. The Islanders got their second straight win of the season on the road, before their home opener on Tuesday, April 26th against NSC Minnesota Stars at 8:00pm.
PR: Jonathan Fana (assist by David Foley) – 35th minute
PR: Jonathan Fana (assist by Gregory Richardson) – 79th minute
PR: Aaron Pitchkolan - 31st minute
FCTB: Frankie Sanfilippo – 67th minute
FC Tampa Bay Lineup:
GK Daryl Sattler, D J.P. Rodrigues, D Omar Jarun, D David Hayes, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), M Takuya Yamada, M Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, M Tony McManus (Mozzi Gyorio 78’), M Keith Savage (Warren Ukah 61’), F Pascal Millien, F Aaron King (Mike Ambersley 71’)
Puerto Rico Islanders Lineup:
GK Ray Burse, D Richard Martinez, D Jay Needham, D Logan Emory, D Scott Jones, M Osei Telesford, M Aaron Pitchkolan, M David Foley (Gregory Richardson 75’), M Jonathan Fana (Kevon Villaroel 81’), F Nick Addlery (Captain), F Matthew Bouraee (Joe Salem 68’)
FC Tampa Bay: 23 Shots, 5 Saves, 10 Corner Kicks, 8 Fouls
Puerto Rico: 10 Shots, 6 Saves, 7 Corner Kicks, 7 Fouls