Fort Lauderdale CF hosted its final home game of the 2021 season, ultimately falling 0-1 to North Texas SC.
Fort Lauderdale kept control of the match in the first half, edging the visiting team in terms of possession. Notably, an early slip up by North Texas SC’s Mark Salas in the midfield freed Braxton Najib for a run into the box, but he was tackled by a trailing defender.
Shortly after that move, a pair of attempts came to midfielder Drew Hardin. Hardin on two occasions actively found pinpoint crosses from teammates; a gentle sailing pass over an opponent from Romeo Beckham and later a deep cross from Noah Allen in the left wing. The match, however, remained scoreless after 45 minutes of play.
At the 55-minute mark, however, North Texas created the lone goal of the night as Kalil ElMedkhar rolled down the right side of the box, charging side by side with a closing defender before hesitating, and then promptly delivering a low cross to teammate Gibran Rayo that scored the goal, giving the visiting team a 0-1 lead.
Fort Lauderdale would continue to dominate on possession for the remaining second half, and primed themselves for a handful of opportunities to tie the match. At the 76-minute mark, a corner from Allen found teammate Aimé Mabika surrounded by defenders, as the center back delivered a strong header that sailed just wide of the goal and out of play. The final play, in the form of a free kick earned by George Acosta, gave the home team the best chance to score in the late minutes of the match as Acosta’s attempt rattled the post and veered off to the right side of the box, alerting defenders to clear the dangerous play. When the final whistle blew, the score remained 0-1.
Next up for Fort Lauderdale CF is a final game on the road as the team looks to wrap the 2021 campaign, playing against Toronto FC II at BMO Training Ground on Friday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. ET.