Fort Lauderdale's Abel Gebor works past Fresno's Tyler Reinhart | Photo: Jon Van Woerden, Ft Lauderdale Strikers
The Premier Development League’s Fresno Fuego were doing well on the opposite of the country with a 1-1 scoreline early in the second half, but just before the hour mark things began to unravel. The North American Soccer League’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers scored four straight en route to a 7-2 victory in the Second Round, setting up a Third Round meeting with the San Jose Earthquakes in California.
Aly Hassan, who had not scored since the club’s fourth game of the season, put an end to his drought three minutes before the break and went on to notch his second hat-trick of the year. The striker won a scramble to a loose ball after a Darnell King cross to open the scoring.
Nine minutes into the second half Fresno equalized through Justin Finch, but Hassan fired right back three minutes later and the Strikers never looked back. He headed home a free kick from Scott Lorenz for his second of the night.
Another free kick led to the two-goal advantage in the 61st when Mark Anderson fired a 30-yard free kick past goalkeeper Gibert Vera at the near post, giving him goals in three consecutive games. Anderson’s chance at a second off a Nickardo Blake run in the 69th was unintentionally blocked by Hassan, who then turned to stab the ball into the goal to complete his hat-trick.
Walter Restrepo, who has had a goal or assist in four of the last five games for Fort Lauderdale, beat the keeper in the 78th minute to extend the lead to 5-1.
Fresno’s Tyler Reinhart tried to keep the score respectable with the club’s second goal four minutes from time, but Polo Morales ruined that sentiment with two goals in the dying minutes.
Fresno Fuego 2:7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Lockhart Stadium – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
FTL: Aly Hassan 42
FRE: Justin Finch 54
FTL: Aly Hassan (Scott Lorenz) 57
FTL: Mark Anderson 61
FTL: Aly Hassan 69
FTL: Walter Restrepo 78
FRE: Tyler Reinhart 86
FTL: Polo Morales (Walter Restrepo) 89
FTL: Polo Morales 90
Strikers: Jack Stewart (caution) 21′, Pecka (caution) 45′
Fuego: Abraham Campos (caution) 45′, TJ Grewal (caution) 56′, Eddie Gonzalez (caution) 60′
Strikers: Dave Martin; Nickardo Blake, Jack Stewart, Toni Ståhl, Scott Lorenz; Abel Gebor, Pecka (Alfonso Motagalvan 69), Polo Morales; Mark Anderson, Darnell King (Walter Restrepo 59), Aly Hassan (Conor Shanosky 79′)
Fuego: Gilbert Vega; Araia Berhane, Eddie Gonzalez, TJ Grewal, Emmanuel Ochoa; Abraham Campos, Gaston Cignetti, Justin Finch (Fabricio Nazare 67), Andrew Campbell (Jesus Santiago 60); Paul Islas (Ivan Yanez 79), Tyler Reinhart