By Andreas Morse, FC Edmonton, With Photos by Joel Belizario – ISN
Edmonton, AB – The Minnesota Stars visited Clarke Stadium in Edmonton last Saturday for a North American Soccer League (NASL) match with FC Edmonton, with the teams battling to a 1-1 draw.
The visiting Minnesota Stars FC came in to Saturday evening’s match up against FC Edmonton having lost two games in a row, both by a 1-0 score line. That trend reversed itself in front of 1,539 fans at Clarke Stadium…at least for a while.
FC Edmonton forward Sérisay Barthélémy attempts to pass Minnesota Stars midfielder Neil Hlavaty at Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta on August 4th, 2012 (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)
The chant, “We have beer”, echoed throughout the stadium and the alcohol-fuelled fans seemed to energize a slumping Eddies’ offense as the home team had several chances to score in the first half.
It was Sérisay Barthélémy who got FCE’s first real chance on net in the 14th minute when he cut into the box between two defenders and got a shot off that was saved well by Stars goalkeeper Matthew Van Oekel.
Minnesota Stars midfielder Lucas Rodriguez plays the ball with FC Edmonton midfielder Bryan Arguez in pursuit at Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta on August 4th, 2012 (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)
Lance Parker had to make his first save in the Eddies’ net a minute later, albeit an easy one, off the boot of Amani Walker.
The Eddies looked to be playing the first half with some offensive purpose, Barthélémy himself having several shots well saved by Van Oekel.
Unfortunately for the home side, it was the visitors who broke their goal scoring draught first when Martin Nunez slotted home a through pass in the 44thminute to put the Stars ahead 1-0 heading into the half.
FC Edmonton midfielder Kenny Caceros passes the ball at Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta on August 4th, 2012 (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)
The teams came out for the second half with the same line-ups but it was the Stars who maintained the momentum generated by the late goal.
FCE head coach Harry Sinkgraven made his first change in the 66thminute bringing Matt Lam on for Yashir Pinto. Michael Cox followed, replacing Kenny Caceros.
And it was the Calgary-native who created the tying goal late in the game to keep the Eddies in with a shout in the NASL standings.
The 1-1 draw leaves FC Edmonton in seventh place, tied with the eighth place Silverbacks on points, eight points back of sixth place Carolina.
The Stars move up to fourth.
It will be a quick turnaround for FC Edmonton as they’ll play host to league leaders San Antonio on Wednesday.
Defender Paul Hamilton was shown a red card in injury time for a challenge against Minnesota’s Geison Moura. Hamilton will have to miss at least one game.