Fort Lauderdale CF returned to USL League One action tonight, falling 1-2 against South Georgia Tormenta FC in a highly contested match at home. The matchup at Inter Miami CF Stadium kicked off at 8 p.m. ET and aired live on ESPN+.
The match saw Fort Lauderdale CF make two changes to its starting XI from its last matchup, with the return of goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira, who had missed the team’s last two matches, and 15-year-old winger Felipe Valencia, who’s registered as Inter Miami CF Academy player.
As the match started to warm up, Fort Lauderdale took an early lead with a goal by 16-year-old winger Edison Azcona five minutes into the game. Azcona had also assisted and scored in the last game, bringing his momentum into this matchup. He dribbled past South Georgia’s defensive line after recovering possession on the left wing, delivering a strong shot that made contact with a defensive player before making its way to the back of the net to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, South Georgia’s Curtis Thorn scored in the 19th minute, tying the match 1-1 after receiving an assist from midfielder Marco Micaletto.
Later on, Azcona had an opportunity to score his second goal of the night in the 38th minute, but his shot from inside the box was stopped by goalkeeper Pablo Jara.
Both teams had clear opportunities in the remaining stages of the first half, but both keepers stood to the occasion to keep the ball out of their respective goals. Most notably, over the 45 minute mark, Fort Lauderdale captain and midfielder Servando Carrasco unleashed a powerful long-range shot that was tipped away by the keeper before bouncing off the crossbar, sending the match into the break tied 1-1.
At the start of the second half, Fort Lauderdale looked to strike with an early opportunity as Carrasco again struck a long-range attempt that was saved by Jara in the 54th minute.
Minutes later, following an assist from Thorn, Luca Mayr-Fälten scored for Tormenta FC to give the visitors a 1-2 lead over Fort Lauderdale.
The match remained in a stalemate in midfield as the hosts tried to find the equalizing goal. Fort Lauderdale made four substitutions to refresh the team; at minute 71, Jason Bucknor came on for Valencia and Blaine Ferri for Christian Makoun. Then at minute 85, Chrsitian Lue Young substituted Brian Rosales, and Fransico Raggio for Azcona. Despite the team’s efforts, however, it was unable to find an equalizing goal, ending the match with a 1-2 loss.
Fort Lauderdale CF will return to USL League One action on the road on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET when the team faces the Richmond Kickers at City Stadium.