The Fort Lauderdale Strikers took advantage of a second half red card against the Atlanta Silverbacks, scoring four goals after the break in a 6-2 victory at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday.
The Strikers controlled play early, scoring the game's opening goal in the 20th minute. Iván Guerrero's cross found Martin Nuñez, who headed the ball past Eric Ati.
The Silverbacks' Ruben Luna equalized in the 34th minute after receiving a through ball behind the Strikers defense.
The Strikers continued to attack down the left flank, and Yaikel Pérez scored from a second Guerrero cross in the 41st minute.
The floodgates opened after halftime when Silverbacks defender Mike Randolph received a red card in the 51st minute for dragging down Paulo Jr. inside the box. Carlos Salazar scored the ensuing penalty kick.
Pérez added his second goal -- again from a Guerrero cross -- in the 63rd minute. He received a standing ovation from the 4,091 fans in attendance as he was substituted.
His replacement, Bradlee Baladez, scored two goals of his own. The Silverbacks scored a penalty kick late.
“It was an interesting game to watch and everything was exciting,” said Strikers head coach Günter Kronsteiner. “I think the other team underestimated us and we were motivated. Nobody can come to Fort Lauderdale and say they can beat this team easily.”
“It wasn’t a perfect game, because we gave up two goals, but our whole team demonstrated a good attitude,” said Guerrero. “In every game we need to give it our all, no matter if you’re playing for the championship or not, you’re professional players, and you need to show a winning attitude, and today we did that.”