The North American Soccer League (NASL) Week 4 is concluded and the #Fight4Fall table tightened significantly with Atlanta, Carolina and Minnesota all winning and moving closer to San Antonio Scorpions, who remain on top despite their loss at FC Edmonton today.
Critically in the Race for #TheChampionship, five clubs, New York Cosmos, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Atlanta Silverbacks and Tampa Bay Rowdies are within seven points in efforts to secure the third and fourth spots.
Sunday, August 3
Snapping what had previously been a previously perfect road record - and a nine match overall unbeaten streak, FC Edmonton secured its first victory of the Fall Season defeating first place San Antonio Scorpions 3-1 at Clarke Stadium.
The Eddies' Horace James started the scoring in the 9th minute and Scorpions Eric Hassli answered with a PK conversion in the 23rd minute. It was all Edmonton in the second half, with goals from Tomi Ameobi in the 69th minute and a rocket from Daryl Fordyce in the 78th minute.
Saturday, August 2
A pair of goals from forward Christian Ramirez gave Minnesota United FC a 2-1 victory over visiting Ottawa Fury FC at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday. Ramirez's two goals give him a total of nine for the season and place him firmly in the lead for the Golden Boot.
A crowd of 34,047 was on hand for Minnesota-Ottawa encounter, which was part of a doubleheader with Guinness International Champions Cup match featuring Manchester City and Olympiacos F.C.
"I am very proud of the guys for getting the result and proud of the movement we showed," said United coach Manny Lagos. "It was a nice day and we played good soccer early on and unfortunately by not putting chances away in the first half...[Ramirez] has been playing really well and he bagged it for us; it was a big goal for the club and a big three points."
A goal by Ty Shipalane gave the Carolina RailHawks a 1-0 victory over the New York Cosmos at Shuart Stadium Saturday night and a valuable three points for Carolina as they hold on to the fourth spot in The Championship.
Shipalane, who scored the winner in the last Cosmos match in Raleigh during the Spring Season, struck in the 38th minute on a wonderful individual effort. The South African midfielder knifed his way through the Cosmos defense before beating goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer with a low shot from 12 yards out.
"Tonight, I can't be more proud of my boys and the effort they put in," said Carolina coach Colin Clarke. "It's been a long time coming. We've been good on the road, but just couldn't get that first goal. We got an exceptional goal from Shipalane and we had the better chances in the first half, and second half."
Competing once again for the prize of the Costal Cup and in the second match of the#FloridaDerby, Fort Lauderdale Strikers prevailed over Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0. The victory was Strikers first of the Fall Season and brings them within three points of the coveted fourth spot in the Race for The Championship.
Strikers Forward Fafà Picault scored the lone goal of the match in the 72nd minute. The Strikers had been denied by Rowdies Keeper Matt Pickens throughout the night, with Pickens making six saves on the night, including two impressive diving stops on Picault in the first and second half.
"I think it was a very well deserved win today for sure, maybe one or two goals more, but it doesn't matter I am very happy about this," said Gunter Kronsteiner, Strikers coach.
With a seventh sellout in seven home matches at Michael A. Carroll Stadium, the 10,285 faithful fans were disappointed with Atlanta Silverbacks prevailing over Indy Eleven 4-2.
Two goals in the game's first 21 minutes - including a fifth-minute tally that deflated a sellout crowd in Indianapolis - put the Silverbacks ahead early, and the Eleven were never able to level the score.
Kléberson converted two penalty kicks for Indy, but goals by Atlanta's Jaime Chávez and Junior Sandoval gave the Silverbacks the valuable three points.
"I'm quite happy to get three points on the road, but overall I'm disappointed with a couple mistakes we made," said Atlanta coach Jason Smith. "We had a couple mistakes in the back and had a few moments that were pretty erratic. But overall, I can't be disappointed with four goals."
NASL Fall Season Week 4 Results
Saturday, August 2
Minnesota United FC 2
Ottawa Fury FC 1
New York Cosmos 0
Carolina RailHawks 1
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1
Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
Indy Eleven 2
Atlanta Silverbacks 4
Sunday, August 3
FC Edmonton 3
San Antonio Scorpions 1