By MIKE GRAMAJO
Brian Shriver’s first-half brace solidified a 3-0 victory for the Carolina RailHawks over the New York Cosmos and pole position atop the NASL standings on Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Shriver didn’t wait long to get the RailHawks on the scoreboard, scoring in the eighth minute after a breakaway lead by midfield Ty Shipalane found Zack Schilawski who then seconds later fed an open Brian Shriver to bury the ball towards the back of the net.
Th former North Carolina Tar Heel doubled the lead while also grabbing his 11th goal of the season in the 28th minute after a miscue in the Cosmos’ back line gave Shriver an easy opportunity on goal. Both teams went down to 10 men right before the halftime mark, and the Cosmos would go down to nine men in the latter minutes of the game when Sebastian Guenzatti was sent off for a hard tackle from behind.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of the Week 3 action:
ROWDIES SALVAGE LATE DRAW
After defeating one Florida-based team in Week 2, Minnesota United FC could only draw, 1-1, when they battled the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday evening at the National Sports Center.
Minnesota United’s Pablo Campos continued his dominance in the NASL, scoring 17 minutes into the game when forward Maxi Griffin found him with a great cross. However, just when it looked like the Rowdies were going to taste defeat for the first time this fall, Andres Arango’s stoppage-time header goal salvaged Ricky Hill’s side a point on the road.
The Rowdies head back home on Saturday as the face off against the Eddies from Edmonton at Al Lang Stadium, while United take on a red-hot Carolina RailHawks lead by forward Brian Shriver’s 11 goals.
STRIKERS TAKE ROAD VICTORY AT TOYOTA FIELD
Two first-half goals by Martin Nunez and Mark Anderson ensured the Fort Lauderdale Strikers a 2-1 victory over the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday evening, in front of 6,105 fans at Toyota Field.
“I feel very good today because I thought the team deserved the three points,” Strikers coach Gunter Kronsteiner told NASL.com. “I think we need every day to work in practice and change things and we are slowly being able to do that. I was happy with the first half today.”
Mark Anderson’s free kick in the first minute of action found Martin Nunez following a deflection, which he made use of to give the Strikers the lead. Set-pieces continued to be a nightmare for the Scorpions as Anderson’s free kick goal in the 15th minute doubled the lead for the Strikers. Scorpions forward Tomasz Zahorski would cut the deficit in half before the halftime mark, but it was the Strikers who were able to hold on to a pivotal victory on the road.
EDDIES AND SILVERBACKS DRAW
Midfielder Chris Nurse’s second half goal earned FC Edmonton a 1-1 draw at Clarke Stadium against the Atlanta Silverbacks, Sunday afternoon.
“I thought we had to dig deep because it’s a very talented Atlanta team and they looked dangerous on the counter attack,” FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller told NASL.com. “I thought overall we could have won the game with the chances we had. I’m pleased with the response of the players after we went a goal down.”
Horace James opened up the scoring for the Silverbacks 48th minute after Danny Barrera’s pass found James, who slid the ball behind the Eddies goalkeeper Lance Parker. The Eddies answered back in the 69th minute when Neil Hlavaty’s free-kick found Chris Nurse’s head in the box, tying the score.
The Eddies look to continue their two-game unbeaten run when they visit the Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday. The Silverbacks head to Long Island on Saturday as they face a Cosmos side that’s looking to get back into winning ways after falling 3-0 on the road.
What did you think of Week 3? Do you like seeing the Cosmos lose their first match? Excited to see the Strikers pick up their first victory? Do you think the Eddies can contend for a fall title? Do you think United should have won against the Rowdies
Share you thoughts below.