Fort Lauderdale, FL - A back-and-forth match in South Florida turned into disappointment for the Triumph on Sunday night, as they conceded two second-half goals to Fort Lauderdale CF in a 2-0 loss. A scoreless first half quickly gave way to a track meet in the second 45 minutes, as speedy counterattacks from Ft. Lauderdale doomed a Triumph club struggling to find consistency on offense and defense.
The first fifteen minutes held promise of dictating the first half, with Ft. Lauderdale leading the league in goals scored in the opening fifteen minutes and Greenville near the top in goals allowed in the same time period. Ft. Lauderdale controlled possession early, but couldn't create quality chances to find the opening goal. Greenville's best chance came in the 29th minute, when a handball just outside the box gave the Triumph a dangerous free kick. Despite having two chances at goal, Tyler Polak couldn't put one on frame and the clubs headed to the locker rooms scoreless.
Ft. Lauderdale came out racing in the second half, pushing pace and attack to threaten the Triumph defense. In the 60th minute, the South Florida side almost found the net, only to see reigning League One Keeper of the Year Dallas Jaye make a pair of highlight-reel saves to keep the match scoreless. Undeterred, Ft. Lauderdale's speed broke through, as Shaan Hundal ripped a shot from outside the box and past a diving Jaye to put the home team up 1-0. Only three minutes later, it was deja vu, as Mitchell Curry scored Ft. Lauderdale's second goal on a play strikingly similar to their first goal.
There was a glimmer of hope for Greenville after they were awarded a penalty in the 76th minute, only to see the decision reversed after a conference between officials. As an added blow for the Triumph, forward Alex Morrell left the game after a non-contact leg injury with just over 15 minutes left to play, dealing a final blow an off night for the Greenville attack.
Fort Lauderdale was able to wrap up the shutout after six minutes of stoppage time, sending Greenville to a second consecutive loss for only the second time in club history. The upstate side has now gone nearly a month and a half without a victory. They'll return to Greenville for a crucial Sunday night clash against Richmond on 8/22 at 7:00 PM.