Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Preview Armada @ Strikers

Photo by SE Sports Media, Inc./Jacksonville Armada FC

The Jacksonville Armada will face another in-state rival at 7 p.m. tonight when it heads south to play the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in a Coastal Cup battle.

Jacksonville is coming off a 2-1 win over NASL expansion side Miami FC last Friday at Community First Park. Armada midfielders Junior Sandoval and Pascal Millien, who were named to NASL Team of the Week on Wednesday, scored for Jacksonville in the win.

Sandoval got the Armada on the board first in the 20th minute when he found a sliver of a window between defenders and blasted a rocket from the top right corner of the box that Miami FC goalkeeper Daniel Vega swiped at but could not make contact.

After Miami FC’s Dario Cvitanich knotted the score at 1-1 in the 26th, Millien connected on what proved to be the game-winner in the 36th minute when he slid in a bouncing shot from the top left of the box in heavy traffic.

The Strikers are coming off a 3-0 loss to Minnesota United FC last Saturday in Minnesota. Fort Lauderdale forward Geison Moura was shown a red card in the 21st minute, and the Strikers were unable to overcome a potent United attack after having to play a man down for the majority of the match.

The Strikers are 3-0-0 all-time against the Armada, including 2-0-0 at Lockhart Stadium. In the teams’ last meeting in the 2015 regular season finale on Nov. 1 in Jacksonville, former Strikers midfielder Marlon Freitas scored in the 87th minute in a 1-0 decision that locked up a spot in the NASL Championship playoffs for Fort Lauderdale.

With Jacksonville’s win over Miami FC last Friday, the Armada sits atop the Coastal Cup standings and can extend its lead in the derby to four points with a win over the Strikers.

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