Shaun Saiko’s hat-trick leads the Eddies to a 3-0 victory
The sun shines for the second home game in Edmonton’s NASL season. For the first time since the season opener against Fort Lauderdale, Adam West started in defence for Fabrice Lassonde, who pulled his groin in warm-ups just prior to the match.
FCE’s Chris Kooy also started on the bench after an extended time due to an injury. Kévin Hatchi was also unavailable for the match after receiving a red card in the last home game against Minnesota Stars FC on April 22.
The first half of the game was mostly played in midfield, however it was RailHawks ‘keeper Ray Burse who was forced to make three big saves – while Eddies man between the posts, David Monsalve, wasn’t tested. The best chance of the half came just before the halftime whistle with a give and go play between Kyle Porter and Yashir Pinto, but the shot from Pinto was well saved.
The second half saw the Eddies really push for the win. With the crowd behind them, the team rallied the effort to turn the game in their favour. In the 54 minute, Shaun Saiko struck for the first time in the game and found the back of the net from a long distance effort, a goal that was reminiscent of the one he scored against Fort Lauderdale for the first goal in franchise history.
Saiko was not done scoring, as he doubled FC Edmonton’s lead a few moments later with a shot that curled into the back post. Saiko finished off his hat-trick with a penalty kick in the 81 minute which saw the Eddies earn their first victory of the season with a final score of 3-0.
Fellow striker Yashir Pinto should feel hard done by, as all five of his shots on net were well saved by Burse. Midfielders Matt Lam and Ilja van Leerdam wrapped up the game with an assist each.
The Eddies now head to Vancouver to play the Whitecaps in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship and then head to Atlanta to take on the Silverbacks. The next home game for FC Edmonton is not until May 27 against the San Antonio Scorpions.