By MIKE GRAMAJO
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers picked a right time to secure an important victory. The Strikers took a 2-1 Florida Derby victory over cross-state rival Tampa Bay Rowdies, in front of 3,612 fans at Lockhart Stadium.
“The first half was the best from this team of the season so far,” Strikers manager Gunter Kronsteiner told NASL.com. “We were very concentrated and there were a lot of chances we had to defend. Nobody expected that we could beat them.”
Martin Nunez put the Strikers on the scoresheet in the 22nd minute. Second-half substitute Bradlee Baladez doubled the lead in the 83rd minute, after forward Paulo Junior found the striker to bury the ball past Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. The Rowdies were, however, able to score, courtesy of a consolation goal in stoppage-time by Carl Cort.
Here’s a closer look at all the action in NASL Week 10.
COSMOS EDGE CLOSER TO SOCCER BOWL 2013
There is no stopping the New York Cosmos these days, based on their now seven match unbeaten run.
After a nail-biting comeback victory last week, the Cosmos battled to a 1-0 road victory over Minnesota United FC, which extended their winning streak as well to four games as the Cosmos edge closer to a 2013 Soccer Bowl berth.
Despite Minnesota testing the Cosmos back line various of times in the first half, the deadlock was broken when midfielder Paulo Mendes was able to squeeze past the opposing defense to strike the ball in the 53rd minute past goalkeeper Matthew Van Oakel.
“It was a very big win because it was a difficult game for us,”Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese told the clubs website. “We showed a lot of maturity as a team to hold on to the victory.”
SCORPIONS STING SILVERBACKS AT TOYOTA FIELD
Back in the comforts of their home, the San Antonio Scorpions topped the Atlanta Silverbacks at Toyota Field, which had an announced crowd of 6,570.
“I asked the guys at halftime just to grind it out,” Scorpions interim-coach Alen Marcina told NASL.com. “Games like this sometimes you just have to grind it.”
Polish striker Tomasz Zahorski scored the only goal for the Scorpions, coming in the 63rd minute when midfielder Walter Ramirez’s corner kick found Zahorski to header in the ball right into the net.
RAILHAWKS FALL AT EDDIES
Daryl Fordyce’s brace lifted FC Edmonton to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Carolina RailHawks on Sunday evening at Clarke Stadium, which also snapped the Eddies seven game winless streak.
“It was a genuine team commitment and a win I thought we deserved,” FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller told NASL.com. “Carolina threw a lot at us at the end but we always looked really good on the counter attack.”
The Northern Irishman scored in the 31st minute and bagged his brace in the 58th minute when his shot deflected off the post and went past the goal line. The RailHawks looked to inspire a comeback when Paul Hamilton reduced the deficit in the 75th minute when he headed in a set-piece, but it was the Eddies who were able to hold on for the win.
- New York Cosmos – 21 points
- Tampa Bay Rowdies – 14 points
- Carolina RailHawks – 14 points
- Minnesota United FC – 14 points
- Ft. Lauderdale Strikers – 14 points
- Atlanta Silverbacks – 13 points
- FC Edmonton – 11 points
- San Antonio Scorpions – 7 points
What did you think of Week 10? Do you think the Cosmos can end up winning the fall season? Can the Rowdies and RailHawks get back into winning ways? Do the Eddies and Strikers still have a chance to contend for the top spot?
Share your thoughts below.