Fort Lauderdale CF looked to put last week’s loss in the rearview mirror with tonight’s matchup against South Georgia Tormenta FC at Erk Russell Park in Statesboro, Ga. The match kicked off at 8 p.m. ET and aired live on ESPN+.
An evening in the Peach State became fruitful for Fort Lauderdale early on in the first half. Mitch Curry speedily led the offensive attack from the front earning multiple set-plays. By the 27-minute mark, George Acosta’s counterattack play from the midfield provided him a secondary assist to a streaking Curry, who sidestepped Tormenta’s goalkeeper closing in on the forward, prompting Curry to pass to teammate Shaan Hundal on his left side. Hundal calmly found the back of the net with ease. The opening goal of the match was the forward’s team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Meanwhile, moments later Acosta’s secondary assist would quickly be rewarded with a goal of his own as Edison Azcona located his teammate charging down the middle of the field just outside the box. Acosta wound his right foot back, striking the ball while finding the slightest opening on the left side of the net to extend the lead to 2-0 at the 35-minute mark.
The relentless barrage of goals from Fort Lauderdale would continue for the squad as the team looked to close the first half on a positive note. At the 43-minute mark, Acosta intercepted a short pass from an opponent just outside the penalty arc and instinctively wound his left foot with a heavy blow to the ball that in turn bounced onto the grass, through the hands of the goalkeeper, and into the goal for his second score of the night, increasing the team’s lead to 3-0.
Moving along into the second half, the visiting team was determined to secure its lead. Halftime substitute Braxton Najib extended the lead and notched his first goal of the campaign; Curry scurried down the right flank, threading the ball past multiple defenders while Najib pursued the pass and struck the ball into the back of the net that ensured a commanding 4-0 lead for Fort Lauderdale.
Hopes of a clean sheet for Fort Lauderdale, however, were impeded late as the game dwindled on. Tormenta FC’s Vincenzo Candela crossed the ball for an open Azaad Liadi just outside the goal post to give their team their first score of the match at the 84-minute mark. A similar play from Tormenta FC’s Luca Mayr to Liadi gave the home team a second goal on the night in stoppage time. At the final whistle though, it would be Fort Lauderdale who collected three points and the win on the road with a final score of 4-2.
Next up for Fort Lauderdale CF is a trip back down to South Florida where they’ll play against the Chattanooga Red Wolves at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET.