Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - A second-half strike from Revolution II debutant Ryan Sierakowski proved the difference in a close contest, as New England picked up a 1-0 away win over Fort Lauderdale CF at DRV PNK Stadium on the opening night of the 2021 USL League One season.
Fort Lauderdale looked the more likely side to score throughout the first half, controlling the ball and pressing New England effectively. Noah Allen nearly gave the south Florida side the lead minutes before the break, but his low drive caromed off the post and the rebound was smothered to safety.
Inter Miami CF loanees Edison Azcona and George Acosta came off at halftime for Fort Lauderdale, and the Revolution II grew into the game immediately. A lovely bit of buildup play brought the opening goal of the game and season, with Sierakowski firing home a well-placed finish from a low cross to put New England ahead.
Fort Lauderdale hit the woodwork for the second time through Francisco Raggio later in the match, before lightning briefly halted the game in the 81st minute. But even after the match resumed, the Revolution II were able to preserve their clean sheet and claim all three points to open the 2021 campaign.
Both clubs are back in action next Saturday, April 17, with New England playing its home opener against the Richmond Kickers and Fort Lauderdale making the short trip north to take on South Georgia Tormenta FC.
USLLeagueOne.com Man of the Match
Sean O'Hearn, New England Revolution II - O'Hearn put in an excellent shift with his side under pressure for much of the match. He won 5 of 6 duels, 3 of 3 tackles and made seven clearances in helping his side keep a clean sheet. He also completed the most passes of any player in the match with 44, and did so at an 86 percent success rate.