Monday, October 31, 2011

Minnesota champions

After greatly enjoying my last NASL match in Fort Lauderdale, I was happy to follow the Strikers' surprisingly making it to the final of the NASL championship after defeating the huge favourites of Puerto Rico Islanders in the semifinal. The other finalists were also an upset, namely the Minnesota Stars, who defeated the North Carolina Railhawks, who had been the best team in the season.
But as everybody knows, stats do not win football (soccer) matches.
The NASL final is played over two legs, and playing the last leg at home, the Strikers seemed to have a slight advantage, but the 3-1 defeat in the first leg in Minnesota, did not make things easier, and so didnt't enormous rainstorms before the match, that made us worry about attendance, or even a cancellation of the match.
But everybody knows that the football gods have great relations with the weather gods, and it hardly rained during the match.
The match was a disappointment for Strikers' fans. They undoubtedly played their chance, and had near to all the play, but Minnesota had come to play Italian Catenaccio and defend their 3-1 lead. This they did very well indeed, with a very strong central defense, and in the end, the Strikers' seemed more desperate in the face of a match that ended 0-0, but which Minnesota could have won.
It was a disappointment for all Strikers' fans, including myself. I usually have good karma on football teams I visit, and perhaps the Strikers making it to the final was the karma I gave them. I had promised that I would buy a Strikers' shirt if the won the championship, so I am still without one!
NASL Final: Ft. Lauderdale Strikers-Minnesota Stars

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