FC Tampa Bay dropped a 2-0 decision to the Puerto Rico Islanders in its second match of the season Sunday night at Al Lang Stadium.
Islanders midfielder Jonathan Fana scored both goals for Puerto Rico, finding the back of the net in the 35th and 79th minutes.
“It is still a work in progress,” said FC Tampa Bay head coach Ricky Hill. “We were a little impatient; I felt like we tried to force too much. Goals change games; they scored two and we did not manage to get any goals out of the opportunites we created.”
FC Tampa Bay put pressure on Puerto Rico goalkeeper Ray Burse throughout the match with a season-high 23 shots, led by five each from F Aaron King and F Pascal Millien.
The match remained scoreless until the 35th minute when Fana scored on an assist from midfielder David Foley, giving the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
FC Tampa Bay outshot Puerto Rico, 12-6, in the first 45 minutes and had several chances. Midfielder Takuya Yamada sent a header over the crossbar in the opening 10 minutes and defender Omar Jarun just missed on a header in the 27th minute.
“We had good opportunities that we didn’t finish,” said FC Tampa Bay defender and captain Frankie Sanfilippo. “We are never going to give up. Every game we give 110 percent.”
The two teams battled it out in the second half and picked up the pace of the match. Fana gave Puerto Rico another goal in the 79th minute, with the assist going to Gregory Richardson.
Despite the deficit, FC Tampa Bay continued to put pressure on Puerto Rico in the second half. King hit a low strike in the 64th minute, but Burse made an excellent save. Forward Warren Ukah fired a shot high in the 66th minute and Millien attempted a shot off a bicycle kick inside the box.
FC Tampa Bay returns to action this Saturday, April 23 when it travels to Montreal for a 2:30 p.m. match. The two teams are meeting for the second time in three weeks following FCTB’s season-opening 1-0 victory last weekend over the Impact in St. Petersburg.
PR: Jonathan Fana (assist by David Foley) – 35th minute
PR: Jonathan Fana (assist by Gregory Richardson) – 79th minute
PR: Aaron Pitchkolan - 31th minute
FCTB: Frankie Sanfilippo – 67th minute
FC Tampa Bay Lineup: GK Daryl Sattler, D J.P. Rodrigues, D Omar Jarun, D David Hayes, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), M Takuya Yamada, M Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, M Tony McManus (Mozzi Gyorio 78’), M Keith Savage (Warren Ukah 61’), F Pascal Millien, F Aaron King (Mike Ambersley 71’)
Puerto Rico Lineup: GK Ray Burse, D Richard Martinez, D Jay Needham, D Logan Emory, D Scott Jones, M Osei Telesford, M Aaron Pitchkolan, M David Foley (Gregory Richardson 75’), M Jonathan Fana (Kevon Villaroel 81’), F Nick Addlery (Captain), F Matthew Bouraee (Joe Salem 68’)
FC Tampa Bay: 23 Shots, 5 Saves, 10 Corner Kicks, 8 Fouls
Puerto Rico: 10 Shots, 6 Saves, 7 Corner Kicks, 7 Fouls
Post Game Interviews: