The Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ impressive run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup came to an end Wednesday night with a 3-0 loss to the host Chicago Fire.
The Strikers were trying to become the first NASL team to advance to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup after pulling off upsets against higher-tier MLS teams D.C. United and Orlando City in previous rounds.
Fort Lauderdale did become the first NASL team to beat two MLS teams away from home in Cup history.
Chicago tried to put the Strikers away early Wednesday, scoring five minutes in on David Accam’s goal. Michael de Leeuw made it 2-0 before halftime with Chicago’s Khaly Thiam ending the scoring early in the second.
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“We conceded two early goals and that put us in a terrible situation,” Fort Lauderdale coach and GM Caio Zanardi said in a release put out by the team.
“But it was a great moment for us to be in the quarterfinal beating D.C. United and Orlando City. Today, playing Chicago was special for us. This was a great moment for us to play here in Chicago.”
The Strikers, who recently announced they would be leaving historic Lockhart Stadium for Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, continue their road travel in the NASL fall season by visiting Minnesota United FC on Saturday at 8.
Fort Lauderdale is 0-3-1 in this fall season.
The Strikers are scheduled to play their final game at Lockhart on July 30 when they play host to Jacksonville.
Fort Lauderdale’s first game at its new home is Aug. 20 against Ottawa.