Defensive miscues and a plethora of missed opportunities defined FC Tampa Bay’s 2-0 loss at the hands of the Puerto Rico Islanders on Sunday night in Saint Petersburg.
The home team had plenty of scoring chances but looked tentative much of the time and either couldn’t quite get the right touch to finish a goal or were stopped by tremendous goalkeeper play from Puerto Rico’s Ray Burse.
FC Tampa Bay’s Aaron King had a strong game generating a number of scoring chances including an excellent chance in the 21st minute which couldn’t get past Burse. Teammates Omar Jarun and Pascal Millien also generated shots but couldn’t find the back of the net.
In the 35th minute a cross in front of FC Tampa Bay’s goal found the Islanders’ Jonathan Fana, who was able to settle it despite pressure from Tampa Bay’s defense and buried it past a diving Daryl Sattler giving Puerto Rico the 1-0 lead, and putting the green and gold in their first hole of the season.
Aaron King continued putting pressure on the islanders with a solid strike to open the second half, but he was once again unable to get in past Ray Burse.
It was a very up and down game, with both sides generating plenty of chances, however at times Ricky Hill’s club seemed to be hesitant to shoot the ball from distance, choosing rather to play the ball wide for crosses which just seemed unable to find a Tampa Bay player's head on this evening. They did, however, generate some very good chances, and took 23 shots in the match.
Soon after coming on substitute Mozzi Gyorio made a costly misplay, leading to a turnover on the left side of the home penalty area which was played in to Jonathan Fana, who scored an easy second goal of the night in the 79th minute.
Daryl Sattler looked very good for most of the match, and can’t be blamed for the goals for Puerto Rico. The Islanders attackers simply got too many open touches close in to FC Tampa Bay’s goal.
FC Tampa Bay drop to 1-1 on the young season and Puerto Rico improves to 2-0. The next match for FCTB will be on Saturday way up in Canada against the Montreal Impact, a club which they beat just one week ago. That game will be streamed at 2:30 on FCTampaBay.com.