Atletico Mineiro and Independiente Santa Fe take wins in Florida Cup doubleheader

FAU Stadium plays host to professional soccer for first time in history

Independiente+Santa+Fe+goalkeeper+Robinson+Zapata+takes+a+penalty+kick+attempt+in+the+fourth+minute+f+his+team%27s+game+against+the+Fort+Lauderdale+Strikers.++Zapata+would+score+the+attempt+and+put+his+team+up+1-0Mohammed+F.+Emran+%7C+Staff+Photographer
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Atletico Mineiro and Independiente Santa Fe take wins in Florida Cup doubleheader

Independiente Santa Fe goalkeeper Robinson Zapata takes a penalty kick attempt in the fourth minute f his team's game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.  Zapata would score the attempt and put his team up 1-0Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Independiente Santa Fe goalkeeper Robinson Zapata takes a penalty kick attempt in the fourth minute f his team's game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Zapata would score the attempt and put his team up 1-0Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Independiente Santa Fe goalkeeper Robinson Zapata takes a penalty kick attempt in the fourth minute f his team's game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Zapata would score the attempt and put his team up 1-0Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Independiente Santa Fe goalkeeper Robinson Zapata takes a penalty kick attempt in the fourth minute f his team's game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Zapata would score the attempt and put his team up 1-0Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

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Sunday saw the first-ever professional soccer games in FAU Stadium’s history when the Florida Cup brought a doubleheader featuring international professional teams.

The preseason tournament, now in its second year, is nearly over. Atletico Mineiro is currently in first place after winning its game today and is now set up to win the cup for the first time in club history.

Here’s what you need to know from the day’s two tournament games:

Game One: Atletico Mineiro 1, Corinthians 0

The two top teams in Brazil’s first division of professional soccer faced off in the first game of the doubleheader. The matchup was the first time Corinthians and Atletico Mineiro played in the new year, with their last meeting coming on Nov. 1, 2015 in a 3-0 win for Corinthians.

Atletico Mineiro fans cheer before the start of the first game of the Florida Cup. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Atletico Mineiro fans cheer before the start of the first game of the Florida Cup. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

After a scoreless first half, Atletico Mineiro’s Hyuri broke the draw with a goal in the 59th minute. The forward, who came on as a substitute in the 55th minute, received a pass by teammate Thiago Ribeiro from the right side of the goal box to give his team the lead 1-0.

Douglas Santos and Marcos Rocha of Atletico Mineiro earned the game’s lone cards. Santos received a yellow card in the 57th minute with Rocha receiving his in the 75th for a body check.

Lucas Pratto dribbles down the field during the first game of the Florida Cup. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Lucas Pratto dribbles down the field during the first game of the Florida Cup. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

With the win, Atletico Mineiro moves into first place in the Florida Cup. Corinthians will play its second and final game in the preseason tournament in Orlando versus Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk on Jan. 20.

Game Two: Independiente Santa Fe 2, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1

The second match of the doubleheader between Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe and local team the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers saw the first scoring opportunity put home in an unusual manner.

Four minutes into the first half, a foul in the box against the Strikers gave Sante Fe a penalty kick and an early chance to take the lead. However, instead of an outfield player, goalkeeper Robinson Zapata stepped in to take the attempt.

Neil Hlavety of the Strikers goes for a header during the second game of the Florida Cup. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Neil Hlavety of the Strikers goes for a header during the second game of the Florida Cup. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Zapata, who had previously scored seven career goals, tucked his shot away past Strikers’ goalie Bruno Cardoso to make it 1-0 in favor of Sante Fe.

Sante Fe would later extend its lead to 2-0 with a score from Carlos Ibarguen on a rebound, which put the game out of reach for its opponent. Victor “PC” Giro would later score in the 79th minute on a 20-yard free kick, but that was all the Strikes would get.

Andre Skiadas takes a header towards goal during the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 loss to Independiente Santa Fe. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Andre Skiadas takes a header towards goal during the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 loss to Independiente Santa Fe. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

As the game went on, both sides saw players getting more and more physical with an increasing number of fouls. Six yellow cards were issued in the second half, including three to each team.

The Strikers are now 0-2 in the Florida Cup, with Santa Fe earning its first win of the tournament.

Ryan Lynch is the multimedia editor of the University Press. For tips regarding this or other articles, he can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter.