Parreiras, Bennett each have three-point nights as Tropics hold off Dallas Sidekicks, 6-5

by Brian Ackley

ALLEN, Texas – The Florida Tropics two leading scorers – Ian Bennett and Victor Parreiras – each had three-point games Friday night to pave the way to a 6-5 win over the Dallas Sidekicks in a Major Arena Soccer League game Friday night in Texas. 

Florida took a 3-2 lead to the half. Stephen DeRoux got Florida rolling on a deflected shot in the first period, while Ian Bennett picked up a pair in the second quarter, including a pretty set piece goal from deep in the right corner. Victor Parrieras assisted on both of Bennett’s markers. 

The score could have been much more lopsided than it was. VcMor Eligue, Bennett and DeRoux all hit goal posts in the first half, with several other Tropics shot off frame by literally just an inch or two. 

The Tropics got the first two goals of the second half, including another set piece score, this time from Parreiras, and a goal from Bruno Henrique on a pretty assist from Bennett who beat two Dallas defenders at the Sidekicks line to set up his linemate, giving Florida  a 5-2 lead early in the fourth. 

Dallas got goals from Dario Joya in the first, Oscar Romero in the second and Raul De La Gala and Anthony Powell in the fourth. Felipe De Sousa cut the margin to 6-5 with just 1:58 to play to make it interesting. Former Sidekicks star Eligwe, recently signed by the Tropics, added a sixth-attacker goal for Florida, which gave Florida a 6-3 lead at the time and turned out to be the game winner. 

The Tropics improved to 7-1 with the win, while Dallas falls to 1-5. Hugo Silva was solid again in goal for Florida, picking up his league-leading seventh win of the year.  He made maybe his best save of the game with 15 seconds to go when he robbed Powell on a shot from the top of the box. 

Florida will play five more regular season games, three of which come at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland next Thursday through Sunday.

The Tropics will host Tacoma at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, followed by a 7 p.m. start Friday, Feb. 19 against San Diego. The home portion of the schedule will conclude with a 4 p.m. kickoff Sunday against the Ontario Fury. Florida will finish on the road with games March 10 and 11 against Tacoma and Ontario in Ontario, California. The league is planning on announcing a playoff format in the coming weeks. 

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