Fort Lauderdale CF fell 0-2 in a hardfought contest with 2020 USL League One runners-up Union Omaha on Friday night at DRV PNK Stadium.
Fort Lauderdale opened the match with a new pair of Inter Miami loanees in the starting XI, as goalkeeper Drake Callender and winger Josh Penn joined George Acosta on the team.
The opening minutes were promising for the energetic hosts coming off a victory against Richmond last weekend. Omaha’s disruptive defense, however, proved difficult to break down.
In the 30th minute of the match, Omaha’s Damia Viader found teammate Nicolas Firmino within striking distance; Firmino calmly placed the ball in the back of the net to give his team a 0-1 lead.
Noah Allen came closest to tying the match in the first half; his corner kick delivery was followed by few deflections near the goal, giving Allen an opportunity to find the ball just outside the box and strike it a few degrees of separation from the top of the goalpost.
Omaha’s defense continued to contain Fort Lauderdale’s attacks throughout the second half. Continued offensive aggression by Acosta and Venton Evans led to a chance for the teammates to threaten the goal at the 54th minute mark, but Evans’ attempt went over the bar. Mere minutes later, Josh Penn penetrated the defense and placed a shot on target, but Omaha’s goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu saved the attempt.
Despite the pressure from Fort Lauderdale, Omaha extended its lead in the 71st minute; a corner kick from Omaha set up Viader for a strike of his own, slotting a shot into the right corner of the net, extending his team’s lead and securing a 0-2 victory.
Next up for Fort Lauderdale is another home match at DRV PNK stadium when it faces FC Tucson on Sunday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m. E.T.