Saturday, July 14, 2012
BRADENTON, Fla. – The Los Angeles Blues took their second victory of the weekend as goals by Max Griffin and Matt Fondy earned a 2-0 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC on Saturday afternoon at the IMG Academy. Griffin opened the scoring in the first half before Fondy’s late strike put the game away.
The Blues opened with more possession, but the first clear chance came to the Barracudas in the eight minute when Peter Byers was able to beat the offside trap and break in on goal. The Antiguan international was met by Blues goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski, who came off his line quickly to make the save. Three minutes later Antigua went close again as Kimoi Alexander’s shot from 25 yards went just wide of the left post.
Los Angeles’ first reach chance came in the 18th minute as Josh Suggs made a good run from left back into the penalty area. His low cross was blocked at the near post, but Bryan Burke followed up, only for his volley to go straight at Keita DeCastro in the Antigua goal.
The opening goal came from a similar move in the 25th minute, with Suggs again finding space on the left, and his low cross was met at the near post by Griffin, who flicked his shot into the right corner of the net. The goal was Griffin’s first since joining the Blues on loan from Orlando City earlier this week, and his second of the season.
The goal appeared to deflate Antigua, and Griffin had a chance to double the lead five minutes later when he was played into the left side of the penalty area by a chipped pass by Burke, only for DeCastro to save. Antigua went close to an equalizer seven minutes before the halftime break, but Kerry Skepple’s inventive chip from the top-right corner of the penalty area drifted just wide of the Blues’ left post.
The game slowed in the Florida heat in the second half, but Antigua had some chances to get back on level terms. Byers forced a save from Woszczynski in the 54th minute after being played into the left side of the penalty area by Matt Aldred, cutting back at the goal line onto his right foot before blasting on goal, and Quinton Griffith’s low free kick went just wide of the left post two minutes later.
Los Angeles had a good chance to double their lead with 15 minutes to go as Brian Farber drove a curling shot just wide of the left post, and Griffith again tried his luck for Antigua from long range with eight minutes to go, only to see his shot go wide.
A minute later, the Blues wrapped the game up as Bryan Burke picked out Fondy onside in the left side of the penalty area, and the halftime substitute put his finish into the bottom-right corner of the net. Fondy came close again moments later, only to be denied by DeCastro, but the Blues would see out the victory comfortably.
Los Angeles returns home for an international friendly next weekend against Guatemalan club Municipal next Saturday night at Titan Stadium, while Antigua has next weekend off before a visit to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m. at Chartiers Valley Stadium.