On Tuesday night, the Puerto Rico Islanders made their triumphant return to the Juan Ramon Loubriel stadium with a decisive 3-1 win over the NSC Minnesota Stars. The eager home crowd saw the Islanders come back with 3 unanswered goals after going down 0-1 from a Minnesota goal in the 21st minute.
The first 20 minutes of the game saw constant back-and-forth action between the teams as both sides battled for the midfield. The Islanders had slightly better possession of the ball during most of the first half of the game but then faced a rude awakening when Kyle Altman scored the game’s opening goal making it 1-0 for the visiting NSC Minnesota Stars.
The ‘Tropa Naranja’ pressed harder after the Minnesota goal and had several close opportunities – including a powerful shot by Richard Martinez in the 31st minute that hit the crossbar. Just 3 minutes later, the Islanders’ continued pressure was rewarded when Nicholas Addlery put the Islanders on the scoring sheet with a header (Assist: Martinez) in the 34th minute - tying the game at 1-1. With the visiting team still recovering from Addlery’s goal, Jonathan Faña marked the 2-1 for the Islanders with an impressive shot (Assist: Bouraee) in the 39th minute. The first half ended with the Islanders ahead 2-1.
The Islanders continued to dominate the game in the second-half with just a few scoring opportunities for the visiting Stars. The visiting side tested new Puerto Rico goalkeeper Ray Burse on a couple of occasions but otherwise failed to present much of a threat. In the 77th minute, Jonathan Faña scored the 3rd goal for the Islanders (Assist: Foley) and sealed the 3-1 victory for the home team. A decisive victory and fitting return to Bayamon for the 2010 champions.
MN – Altman 21’ (Cosgriff)
PRI – Addlery 34’ (Martinez)
PRI – Faña 39’ (Bouraee)
PRI – Faña 77’ (Foley)
PR Islanders: Salem 71'
NSC Minnesota Stars: Rodriguez 32', Gotsmanov '7
Puerto Rico Islanders Lineup: Burse, Martinez, Needham, Emory, Jones, Pitchkolan, Telesford, Foley, Faña, Addlery, Bouraee
NSC Minnesota Stars Lineup: Warren, Stewart, Clements, Gilkerson, Altman, Hlavaty, Gotsmanov, Takada, Rodriguez, Cosgriff, Del Do.
PR Islanders : 15 shots, 8 shots on goal, 20 fouls, 1 saves, 17 corner kicks, 4 offsides
NSC Minnesota Stars: 8 shots, 4 shots on goal, 12 fouls, 3 saves, 7 corner kicks, 3 offsides