TEANECK, N.J. – Local rivals Island Strikers handed Hakoah a second straight defeat at University Stadium. There was little to choose between the two sides, but Hakoah's failure to finish chances once again cost the sky blues a share of the points.
The tone for the day was set in the second minute, when a weak clearance by the Strikers goalkeeper found its way to Saeed Sulemana-Baba whose goalward blast was tipped over the bar. Scoring opportunities were few and far between, though another one went begging when Sulemana-Baba hustled to win a ball near the Strikers' area in the 39th minute. After sweeping the ball past the last defender, he slipped a cross back across the goal, stranding the goalkeeper, but nobody was there to finish.
The Strikers' physical play kept the Hakoah attack from getting into rhythm, and an opportunistic goal in the 64th minute settled the match. A miscue in the back by Hakoah gave away possession, and a quick cross found the head of a Strikers attacker in front of goal and caromed into the net. The Strikers nearly doubled their lead shortly after, as a long range missile whistled just wide of the goal.
Hakoah kept battling for an equalizer, and had its best chance at earning a tie in the 86th minute. Josh Pransky carried the ball forward and played the ball ahead into a tangle of players outside the area. The ball fell to the feet of Michel Asayag, and the forward belted a long distance shot that flew over the bar.