By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite going down to 10 men, the San Antonio Scorpions did more than enough to extend their lead atop the NASL table.
The Scorpions pushed through the sending off of centerback Julius James to hold on to a 2-0 victory over the visiting Indy Eleven through first half goals from Tomasz Zahorski and the aforementioned James. The Scorpions now find themselves two points on second place Minnesota United FC, who have a game in hand.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 28th minute with a goal from Zahorski, whose goal was his fifth of the season, off an assist from forward Billy Forbes.
James, who was sent off in the 56th minute, added the Scorpions’ second just ten minutes later on a corner from midfielder Rafael Castillo.The Scorpions centerback rose to meet the out-swinging corner and headed the ball straight into the ground and past Nicht for his first goal of the season.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of the weekend’s action in NASL:
COMSOS WAIT OUT WEATHER DELAY TO KNOCK OFF SILVERBACKS
It may have taken an extra three-and-a-half hours, but the New York Cosmos emerged from Atlanta Silverbacks Park with the victory they came for.
The Cosmos scored their first goal in three games to come from behind defeat the Atlanta Silverbacks, 2-1, highlighted by a 61st minute Marco Senna freekick that proved to be the game winner.
Senna’s wonderstrike was preceded by a spectacular opener from the opposition, as Silverbacks midfielder Junior Burgos buried a freekick of his own to give the hosts the lead in the 12th minute. Following a Burgos’ blast, the weather became unplayable, as the game was halted in the 23rd minute due to weather before resuming at 11:30 p.m. local time.
The Cosmos emerged from the delay the better team, taking full advantage of a red card issued to Silverbacks midfielder Junior Sandoval, who was sent off following an altercation in the 41st minute. Andres Flores tied the game at one just four minutes after Sandoval’s dismissal with a sliding finish from a backpost pass by midfielder Hagop Chirishian, in what was the first Cosmos goal since July 26, spanning a total of 307 in-game minutes.
Flores’ equalizer paved the way for Senna’s winner in the 61st minute. The 37-year-old Brazilian directed his freekick up and over the Silverbacks wall and into the upper left corner, giving the visiting Cosmos the much-needed go-ahead goal in what eventually snapped the team’s three-game winless streak.
OTTAWA FURY FC SCORE FIRST HOME GOAL, BUT FALL TO STRIKERS
Ottawa Fury FC winger Carl Haworth scored the first goal in franchise history at the friendly confines of TD Place, but excitement from the history-making goal was short-lived.
The visiting FT. Lauderdale Strikers equalized just six minutes later and found a winner in the 76th minute to earn a 2-1 win over the currently-winless Fury FC.
Haworth’s opener came in the 10th minute when the winger capitalized on a poor Strikers clearance to score the first goal at TD Place in franchise history. Haworth received the ball in the Strikers’ penalty are, took a touch and fired past goalkeeper David Meves to give the hosts the early 1-0 lead.
Excitement lasted just six minutes for the crowd of 4,814, as Strikers forward Fafa Picault tied things at one after latching on to loose ball in the middle of the Fury FC defense. Picault’s ensuing shot was slipped past goalkeeper Romuald Peiser to tie things at one.
Regardless of their record, it were Fury FC who had the majority of chances from that point on, although the hosts failed to net the go-ahead goal. The Strikers made them pay in the 76th minute, as forward Darnell King took the ball and beat Peiser on the counter to lock up the Strikers’ victory.
ROWDIES END TWO-GAME SKID WITH VICTORY OVER RAILHAWKS
After failing to score in back-to-back losses, the Tampa Bay Rowdies were going to need to find a way to get some goals in order to get back to the winning side of things.
Goals are exactly what the team out forth, as the Rowdies knocked off the Carolina RailHawks, 4-3, Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.
It took just three minutes for the Rowdies to get things started via forward Amani Walker, who controlled a through ball from Shane Hill and fired past RailHawks goalkeeper Scott Goodwin to start the scoring. Tamika Mkandawire doubled the lead just seven minutes later with a powerful header from a Keith Savage free kick to push the score to 2-0, which held until halftime.
The RailHawks emerged from the halftime break with energy unseen in the first 45 minutes, with Zach Schilawski and Enzo Martinez assisting one another in the 48th and 51st minutes, respectively.
Substitute Lucky Mkosana restored the Rowdies’ lead in the 72nd minute, while Darel Russell added another in the 84th to push the lead to 4-2. RailHawks defender Danny Berrera got one back for his side with a deflected effort in the 86th minute, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Rowdies held on for the one-goal victory.
MINNESOTA UNITED RECOVER FROM CONCEDING EARLY TO DEFEAT FC EDMONTON
After conceding in the fourth minute, Minnesota United were going to need to recover quickly if they were to have any chance of picking up points against FC Edmonton.
Minnesota did just that, with Daniel Mendes scoring two second half goals to lead the way in a 3-2 defeat of FC Edmonton at NSC Stadium.
FC Edmonton got things going just four minutes into the contest, with Lance Laing taking advantage of some Minnesota United miscommunication to net the game’s opening goal.
The hosts broke through for the equalizer 11 minutes later, with league-leading scorer Christian Ramirez providing his 10th goal of the season from the penalty spot.
Daniel Mendes gave Minnesota United the lead in the 48th minute before netting again in the 59th minute to push the lead to 3-1. FC Edmonton’s Neil Hlavaty scored a penalty kick in the 81st minute, but Minnesota United held on for the remaining time to pick up the victory.
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