In case you haven't been aware, Fort Lauderdale has a professional soccer team. And, as it turns out, it's one win away from winning the league title after upsetting top-seeded Minnesota this past weekend.
The Strikers, who make their home at Lockhart Stadium, pulled off the upset Saturday when they took down the Minnesota United FC in the North American Soccer League semifinal.
They'll now be traveling to San Antonio to face the Scorpions for all the soccer marbles.
The Strikers traveled to Minnesota on Saturday to face the best team in the NASL, and things seemed bleak when the home team chipped in a goal to go up 1-nil at the 34th minute.
But the Strikers stayed in full-attack mode until the very last second, tying the match during stoppage time.
Forward Martin Nuñez, a former member of the Minnesota FC, delivered a strike past keeper Matt Van Oekel to bring home the equalizer, shattering Minnesota's dreams of moving toward the championship match. Both teams played a rabid pair of scoreless extra time periods before moving on to the penalty kicks stage.
Both teams matched goal for goal in a nail biter that came down to which keeper would remain standing. Each team put four goals into the back of the net in back-to-back efforts, with each club missing one goal. But the Strikers' Pecka was able to nail in a fifth goal, setting up a sudden-death showdown between Fort Lauderdale keeper Kamil Contofalsky and Minnesota midfielder Aaron Pitchkolan.
Picthkolan approached the ball and struck it toward the left side of the net. But Contofalsky anticipated the direction of the shot, stretched out and stonewalled it from getting past him, sealing the 5-4 win for the Strikers and sending them to the NASL championship game.
— FtLauderdaleStrikers (@FTLStrikers) November 9, 2014
This will be the Strikers' second trip to the championship since 2011, when they lost to Minnesota.
The San Antonio Scorpions, meanwhile, took down the defending champion New York Cosmos 2-1 and will host the title game against Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.
Saturday's title match, dubbed the Soccer Bowl, is set to kick off at 8:30 Eastern at Toyota Park in San Antonio.
You can watch the championship live-streamed on ESPN3 for free, as well as on the NASL Live stream. ONE World Sports will also be televising the Soccer Bowl.
— Flight 19 (@Flight_19) November 10, 2014
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