Stars take first leg in NASL Championship Series over Strikers

NSC Minnesota Stars Logo   Ft Lauderdale Stirkers logo

By FRANCO PANIZO

NSC Minnesota Stars picked a good time to get its first win over the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.

After going winless in four regular season games against the team from South Florida, Minnesota defeated the Strikers in front of 4,511 fans at home in NSC Stadium in the first leg of the NASL Championship Series. 3-1. The second leg will be played on Oct. 29 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale at 7:30pm.

Luke Mulholland scored the winner for the Stars a minute after an own goal had pulled the Strikers level. Lucas Rodriguez put the game away with an insurance goal that came off a low shot from about 15 yards out.

Ft. Lauderdale had no response to either second half goal, as its attack sputtered with few clear chances created despite sharing a good portion of the possession. 

The Strikers weren't even able to knock the ball into the back of the net against the team it outscored 6-2 in the regular season. Having fallen behind in the fourth minute to a free kick strike from Neil Hiavaty, Ft. Lauderdale equalized in the 52nd minute off an own goal from Justin Davis. Strikers defender Lance Laing sent an unthreatening cross into the area, but Davis chested it past goalkeeper Joe Warren under little pressure.

The celebration for the Strikers didn't last long, as Minnesota reclaimed the lead a minute later when Mulholland hit a shot past Matt Glaeser following a turnover in their own half.

The Stars put the game away 13 minutes from time when Rodriguez took advantage of slack marking and dribbled into Ft. Lauderdale's area before hitting a shot that snuck inside the near post.

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What did you think of Minnesota's 3-1 win? Think the Strikers will turn it around? 

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to Stars take first leg in NASL Championship Series over Strikers

  1. Minnesota Nice FC says:

    That, my boys, was a thorough wholloping. I thought we’d be lucky to leave this game 1-1, but the Stars absolutely dominated Ft. Lauderdale. That was a rocking stadium that the AARP members of South Florida will have difficulty topping, especially since Minnesota will actually have a traveling contingent.

    Sing with me:
    “You play like Carolina!”

  2. Darren says:

    This is has been great for the Stars. They’ve actually garnered a bit of long overdue local media attention as a result.

    Lets hope an NASL Championship will attract the attention of some buyers for this team and secure the long term future of pro Soccer in Minnesota.

  3. Alan says:

    You guys couldn’t get even 5,000 people for a championship final? We sold 5,000 just last week.

    South Florida soccer fans are nothing to mess with. I invite you Stars fans to celebrate the Strikers victory on Saturday, feel free to party with us.

    This final will be something for the books.

    GO STRIKERS!

  4. Hey we missed you at the first leg! Where were you in the stands?

    We’ll bring a seating chart of the Nessy this weekend to Ft. Lauderdale so you can point out where your away crew was.

  5. Ryan says:

    I guess when you are 3-1 you have to talk smack about ticket sales.

  6. jimcrist says:

    you will definitely notice us in lockhart stadium. we’ll make it real easy for you.

  7. Hey look, Fort Lauderdale’s the new Seattle Sounders. If you lose the final will you get your money back?

  8. Matt says:

    Oh snap! It’s been brung.

  9. BQ says:

    Be nice to the MN crowd. We are really soft and take offense to anything you say.

    On that note: Stars will draw 2-2 away and win the Cup.

  10. Oompa Loompa says:

    Hey, maybe Flight 19 got lost on the way to Minnesota and that’s why there was 0 support for Ft. Lauderdale while they flopped around the field?

  11. BQ says:

    The team that nobody wanted

    The team that nobody wanted

    The team that nobody wanted…

    Is going to win the Cup!

  12. Jim says:

    If I were down 3-1 after a showing like that in a two-leg series I’d be lining up the moral victory conditions too…

  13. Soccer Boy says:

    Scoreboard! Come on you Stars!

  14. Kind of funny stuff being said up north. Must be the cold air. Actually…Stars picked a couple of weeks to play their best soccer.

    I’m for the Strikers and am hoping for a 3-1 home win and some xtra futbol. After that, may the best team win.

    And as for traveling…Minnesota is not a vacation for South Floridians in the Fall. Florida is a vacation for Minnesotan’s in late fall. Too bad the Panthers aren’t at home for you all too.

    Enjoy the Hurricane while you are all down here.

    C’mon Strikers.

  15. Fitz says:

    “And as for traveling…Minnesota is not a vacation for South Floridians in the Fall. Florida is a vacation for Minnesotan’s in late fall. Too bad the Panthers aren’t at home for you all too.”

    So Southern Heat, you’re saying that you’re a bunch of fairweather fans?

    We don’t take vacations, we follow our team, fair weather or bad.

    Dark Clouds hope for hurricanes, see you in Ft. Lauderdale.

  16. Cody says:

    Where were your traveling fans on Ssturday then? We have a crew coming to wreak havoc in Ft. Lauderdale. Also, Ft. Lauderdale has a population of 165,521 and is in a metro area of 5,564,635 while Blaine has a population of 57,186 and is located 30 miles from the Twin Cities which only has a population of ~3,604,460 so by percentage we had more people out to our match. Have fun losing on saturday!

  17. c0ldfuse says:

    It’s probably more embarrassing, considering the HS Football lines on the field…

    A real pro-level organization you got going on in South Florida.

  18. Dave DuJour says:

    Nessy does make occasional trips down the Mississippi. It would not be unheard of for her to jump out of the water & eat Flight 19 in mid-air.

  19. Dave DuJour says:

    That’s only because you can’t handle temperatures below 50F. It was an AWESOME Fall night out last Saturday, only made better by trouncing the Strikers received on the field. They didn’t have any answers to the Stars game. I guess it was too cold for them or something.

  20. Soccer Boy says:

    Don’t forget to renew your AARP membership after you spend the weekend crying over your pathetic team’s loss to the #TeamNobodyWanted! COME ON YOU STARS!