Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Strikers Edge Jacksonville Armada FC, 2-1

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In a hotly-contested affair at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday evening, the Jacksonville Armada FC and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers traded blows in a match reminiscent of the old Strikers-Tea Men games of the 1980s.

In this contest newly dubbed the “Battle for the Atlantic” by both teams’ supporters groups, the Strikers (1-1) sealed the 2-1 win on a 65th minute goal by Victor “PC” Giro. The intense match included six yellow cards and two red cards.

After a mostly uneventful first half, Fort Lauderdale took advantage of a penalty in the 44th minute called on defender Lucas Scaglia. Scalia was called for the infraction when his knee collided with a leaping “PC” inside the box when the two were fighting for the ball in the air. Leo Moura beat Armada FC goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo on the penalty when Moura sent the ball on a rope top the upper left corner of the goal.

Despite trailing 1-0 heading into the locker room, the Armada FC (1-1) came out full steam ahead. Midfielder Bochy Hoyos, who was named the Farah & Farah Man of the Match, answered shortly after the start of the second half when Scaglia threaded a looping pass through defenders, and Hoyos did a quick two-step before firing the ball with his left foot past a diving David Meves in the 49th minute.

But “PC” found a way to take the wind out of the Armada FC’s sails once again when he took a pass from Shawn Chin from just outside of the box and blasted a curving shot that slid past Gallardo.  

Jacksonville fought furiously until the end and continued to attack but were not able to get any clean looks the rest of the match.

The Armada FC will return to Jacksonville for a bye week before returning to action against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium in Tampa, Fla., at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.

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