FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Brazilian club team Cruzeiro dominated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 4-0 Sunday night in a professional men's soccer exhibition at Lockhart Stadium.
Cruzeiro, a first-division team in Brazil, entered the match as heavy favorites and played that way. After all, it is one of five teams in Brazilian soccer that has never been relegated from the top division.
The Strikers, meanwhile, are part of the North American Soccer League, a second-division domestic league that ranks behind Major League Soccer.
Cruzeiro scored its first goal in the 24th minute. Luan took a pass from Mayke and buried a header past Strikers goalie Matt Glaeser, who was caught flat-footed.
In the 35th minute, Bruno Rodrigo added his own header, making an unmarked run, taking a corner kick from Souza and scoring to the near post.
Cruzeiro's Anselmo Ramon scored in a different fashion in the 39th minute. He took a pass from Everton Ribeiro, dribbled his way into the box and booted the ball from right to left, past Glaeser.
All the first-half statistics, including shots (9-5) and corner kicks (4-0), favored Cruzeiro. Glaeser had a pair of saves, and Cruzeiro goalie Fabio had three.
The Strikers switched to backup goalie Lionel Brown to start the second half, and he allowed a goal by Vinicius Araujo in the 77th minute.
In the 80th minute, Cruzeiro gave Fabio the rest of the night off, putting backup Rafael in goal.
NOTES: The attendance was announced at 5,724, and Cruzeiro fans -- audibly and by a visual count -- far outnumbered Strikers backers. ... This was the second time in less than a month that the Strikers played up in class. On May 28, the Strikers lost to MLS team FC Dallas 2-0 in Fort Lauderdale. ... The Cruzeiro club was established in 1921 under the name Palestra Italia. But in 1942, the Brazilian government ruled that no institution could have a name that was derived from nations that were its enemies during World War II. So the name was changed to Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, and the colors were altered from green and red to white and blue. ... Cruzeiro boasts eight million supporters. In 1997, more than 132,000 fans attended the final game of the Mineiro Championships in Brazil. ... Up next for the Strikers is a home game Saturday against NASL rival San Antonio. ... Up next for Cruzeiro is a game Friday in Chicago against Monarcas Morelia from Mexico.