FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Modesto Mendez scored with a minute to go for Fort Lauderdale CF as the hosts earned a dramatic 4-4 draw against South Georgia Tormenta FC on Sunday night at DRV PNK Stadium to spoil a historic night for Tormenta’s Azaad Liadi as he recorded his club’s first hat trick in USL League One.
The visitors had a pair of early sighters on goal but broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Abuchi Obinwa lifted a clever pass into the right side of the penalty area for Liadi, who controlled and rifled a low shot into the right corner of the net. Fort Lauderdale answered 11 minutes before halftime, however, as a corner kick from the left was flicked on at the near post by Ethan Hardin and turned in at close range by Mitchell Curry.
The game then took off in the second half as only 32 seconds after the break Liadi was brought down by FTLCF goalkeeper Drake Callender as he broke in on goal to earn the visitors a penalty kick. Marco Micaletto stepped up and converted with a shot to the right corner, but four minutes later Hardin and Mitchell combined again for the hosts to level again as a sweeping pass to the right found Mitchell in space before he delivered a low cross into the six-yard area that Hartin tapped home.
Tormenta were reduced to 10 men as Ricardo Gomez was shown his second yellow card of the game for a foul behind the play in the build-up to Fort Lauderdale’s second goal, and in the 55th minute the hosts took the lead for the first time when Venton Evans played a nice through-ball for Shaan Hundal that the Canadian lifted over the advancing goalkeeper and into the net. The lead was short-lived, though, as Liadi notched his second goal of the night six minutes later when Luca Mayr-Fälten sprang him free on a counterattack at the halfway line. Liadi moved in on goal and finished with a clever chip into the right side of the net.
Despite being down a player, South Georgia then proceeded to take the lead in the 71st minute as Liadi completed his hat trick, once again breaking in behind the Fort Lauderdale back line to run onto a pass by Micaletto into the right half of the penalty area before shooting low past the goalkeeper. Fort Lauderdale leveled again with a minute to go, however, as Mendez got on the end of a corner kick by Harvey Neville from the left and headed in from the top-right edge of the six-yard area to earn his side a point at the death.
Tormenta's road trip continues with a trip to FC Tucson next Saturday, while FTLCF is back in action next Sunday at home to North Texas SC.
USLLeagueOne.com Player of the Match
Azaad Liadi, South Georgia Tormenta FC – Liadi’s smart runs and speed proved too much for Fort Lauderdale to handle consistently as he notched a hat trick and also drew a penalty kick for the visitors in an outstanding individual display.
TRM 18’ – Liadi, assisted by Obinwa
FTL 34’ – Curry, assisted by Hardin
TRM 47’ – Micaletto, penalty kick
FTL 51’ – Hardin, assisted by Curry
FTL 55’ – Hundal, assisted by Evans
TRM 61’ – Liadi, assisted by Mayr-Fälten
TRM 71’ – Liadi, assisted by Micaletto
FTL 89’ – Mendez, assisted by Neville