The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers beat the PDL's Fresno Fuego 7-2 last night at Lockhart Stadium in the second round of the US Open Cup (the American version of the FA Cup). Aly Hassan had a hat trick, Polo Morales added a pair of goals, Mark Anderson and Walter Restrepo also scored. The Strikers travel to Stanford, Calif., May 29 for the third-round match against the MLS San Jose Earthquakes.
Here are scoring details from last night's match, courtesy of the Strikers...
Aly Hassan opened the scoring with his first goal on the night shortly before the halftime whistle. The forward was the quickest to react to a cross from Darnell King that bobbled off a couple of defenders around the six yard box.
Justin Finch equalized for the Fuego in the 54th, but it was all downhill for the Fresno-based side after. Just three minutes later, Hassan restored the Strikers' lead, scoring the first of six unanswered goals. Scott Lorenz delivered an inswinging free kick to the back post that was met by the towering forward to make it 2-1.
The Strikers capitalized on another free kick opportunity in the 61st. From the left side of the box, Mark Anderson beat Gilbert Vera at the near post with a 30 yard free kick. The goal was Anderson's third goal in the last four matches.
Hassan completed his second hat-trick of the season in the 69th minute, in a rather unspectacular fashion. Nickardo Blake beat his marker on the right and cut the ball back for Anderson to shoot, however the Englishman's shot was unintentionally blocked by his teammate Hassan. The forward turned and poked the ball past Vega for his sixth goal in all competitions this season.
At 4-1 with just thirteen minutes left, the game looked out of Fresno's reach. But the Strikers weren't done yet, Restrepo increasing the Strikers lead further, rounding the keeper and slotting the ball to the far corner.
Tyler Reinhart pulled a consolation goal back for the Fuego in the 86th but again the Strikers would bounce back. Polo Morales scored his first two goals of the year in the final minutes of the game, crushing any hopes Fresno had of a dramatic comeback, and setting up a date for the Strikers against the San Jose Earthquakes.