By MIKE GRAMAJO
The Carolina RailHawks jumped to top of the North American Soccer League table after making a stoppage-time comeback to defeat the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-1, on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The Atlanta Silverbacks continued their stretch of home games on Saturday, drawing 1-1 against FC Edmonton.
Minnesota United FC made sure they made-up from last week’s road defeat against the San Antonio Scorpions, defeating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 on Saturday night at the Metrodome.
Here’s a closer look at this past week’s NASL action:
RAILHAWKS COMEBACK AGAINST ROWDIES
The chances of winning after conceding the opening goal in the 87th minute aren’t very high, but that’s exactly what the Carolina RailHawks did on Saturday night.
Though the home side controlled throughout, it seemed as though the visitors would steal three points away as Devin Del Do took advantage of poor communication by the RailHawks defenders on a long goal kick to give his side a shock lead.
RailHawks forward Cesar Elizondo would not be deterred, as he willed his side to tie the match, out-jumping opposing goalkeeper Diego Restrepo and heading home a long cross from teammate Austin da Luz in the 90th minute.
Then, it was up to Ty Shipalane, who took a pass in in the 5th minute of stoppage time from Elizondo at the top of the box before dipsy-do’ing his way past two defenders and scoring the game-winner to the delight of the 4,086 in attendance at WakeMed Park.
“It was fun to watch and entertaining for the crowd and it’s great to get three points,” RailHawks coach Clarke told NASL.com. “There are four games left and they just get bigger and bigger and that’s why you play the game. Hopefully that will result in us having the Soccer Bowl back here in November.”
The victory put the RailHawks back to the top of the NASL table with 15 points, one point clear above the Atlanta Silverbacks and Minnesota United, while the Rowdies suffered their first road defeat of the season and extend their winless run to three games.
SILVERBACKS SUFFER BLOW WITH DRAW AGAINST THE EDDIES
The Atlanta Silverbacks suffered a big loss on Saturday, drawing 1-1 against FC Edmonton in front of 5,000 fans in attendance at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Silverbacks forward Brad Stisser opened up the deadlock in the 60th minute after defender Mark Bloom sent in a cross which left Stisser to nail the ball toward the back of the net. Eddies midfielder Neil Hlavaty leveled the match for Edmonton ten minutes later after rocketing a free kick 25 yards which was too fast for Silverback goalkeeper Joe Nasco to stop.
“This team is so full of character summoned up by no less by our captain Albert Watson who had his two front teeth knock out here,” Edmonton coach Colin Miller told NASL.com. “Now he is on his way in an ambulance to get them put back in believe it or not and he continued to play throughout the match.”
The Silverbacks travel next week to south Florida as they battle a struggling Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday at Lockhart Stadium while the Eddies take a bye-week heading into week 11.
UNITED ROMP STRIKERS
Forward Pablo Campos stoppage time strike lifted Minnesota United to a 2-1 victory over visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday at the Metrodome.
The south Florida side got off to an early lead after forward Darnell King stole the ball from United goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel in the 10th minute to score on an empty net. Strikers defender Scott Gordon was called for a handball inside the box, which resulted in a penalty kick in which NASL player of the week winner Pablo Campos put United back into the game.
“It became a special night to win that way because the guys didn’t give up,” United coach Manny Lagos told NASL.com. “I just felt like we were creating some chances in the second half and had the energy to get back into the game. We’re obviously excited to get three points.”
The 30-year-old Brazilian Campos completed his brace late into stoppage time after midfielder Simone Bracalello sent in a cross, resulting into Campos heading in the ball in the dyer minute of the match for the 2-1 victory.
What do you think of the results in NASL Week Ten? Impressed by the RailHawks comeback? Do you see United and Atlanta making a push for the top stop next week?
Share your thoughts below.