The Puerto Rico Islanders played the first match of their four-game road stretch last night when they faced the NSC Minnesota Stars, who beat the Tropa Naranja 2-0.
After little action in the first half, the Puerto Rico Islanders came out on the offensive in the second half with two early shots on goal by David Foley.
In the 56th minute, co-captain Noah Delgado almost opened up the scoring with a shot that barely missed Minnesota’s goal. This was followed by another offensive play by Foley, which resulted in a corner kick for the visiting Islanders.
There were many opportunities but the then-undefeated Islanders could not find a way to score.
Then, in the 61st minute, Minnesota defender Justin Davis scored his first professional goal and made it 1-0 for the home team.
The Tropa Naranja continued attacking the Stars but to no avail. Devin Del Do came in for Jeff Cosgriff in the 60th minute, and barely 13 minutes later made it 2-0 for the NSC Minnesota Stars.
This victory is the first in Stars’ history against the Puerto Rico Islanders and puts Minnesota in second place on the NASL table, with the Islanders now in the third position.
"It was an unacceptable performance. Nothing much happened in the first half. On the second half we improved but they scored on us on our best moment. They deserved to win and now we have to move on to Saturday's game against the Railhawks and next week's CFU games", said Islanders head coach Colin Clarke.
The Islanders will now travel to North Carolina to face the RailHawks on Saturday (May 21st) at WakeMed Soccer Park – the same stadium where the Islanders were crowned champions of the USSF – Division II in 2010.
After this, the Islanders will depart towards Guyana where on May 25th they will face Alpha United FC in the semi-finals of the CFU Club Championship Cup in hopes of qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League as well as defending their 2010 Caribbean crown.
If the Tropa Naranja secures the win against Alpha United FC, they would then play in the CFU Final on May 27th against the winner of the other semi-final between Tempete FC of Haiti and Defense Force of Trinidad and Tobago. The two teams making the CFU Final, as well as the 3rd place in the Cup, will earn berths in the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League. The third Caribbean spot will be decided in a match before the Final on May 27th in Guyana.