The Carolina RailHawks blasted their way to the top of the NASL standings with a 5-2 victory over the San Antonio Scorpions to delight a home crowd of 6,708 that packed in to WakeMed Soccer Park.
In the evening’s later game, which was suspended for 64 minutes due to a lightning storm, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers claimed their first win of the season and rocked league leaders Minnesota United, knocking them off the top of the NASL standings in the process with a 2-1 win at Lockhart Stadium.
Carolina RailHawks 5 San Antonio Scorpions 2
Brian Shriver scored twice to lead the NASL in scoring with five goals this season, while Zach Schilawski also found the net twice and keeper Akira Fitzgerald pulled off some spectacular saves for Carolina in the seven-goal thriller.
“There were a lot of good goals and a lot of great passing and there’s a lot to be happy about,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke, whose team has 11 points and has now pulled three points clear of second placed Minnesota United.
“It’s a great result and any time you score five goals you’ve got to be pleased, but I don’t like the number two that’s also up on the scoreboard. We’ve got a good squad of players and we’ll continue to look to improve.”
Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson said: “We came out and our touch was nervous and they were putting a lot of pressure on us and instead of just playing the ball out we gave the ball away. Until we stop beating ourselves it’s going to be difficult."
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=4529
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2 Minnesota United 1
Minnesota United FC began the night on top of the table by virtue of the fourth tiebreaker – a better away goal difference than the RailHawks – but suffered a 2-1 loss at Fort Lauderdale.
The Strikers climbed off the foot of the standings themselves as two goals in the opening quarter of an hour provided decisive despite a nervous ending as ten-man Fort Lauderdale fought off a spirited United comeback attempt.
“We fought hard and we knew they were going to come at us and they threw numbers at us but you’ve got to give our whole team credit,” said Strikers coach Daryl Shore. “They dug in and this shows we’re capable of doing good things.”
Fort Lauderdale led 2-0 at before play was suspended after Mark Anderson’s second minute shot crept in off the inside of the far post and David Foley pounced on a defensive lapse and doubled the previous winless Strikers’ advantage.
The Strikers were reduced to ten men after 57 minutes when Stephane Guillaume saw red for picking up a second yellow card and Pablo Campos scored his first goal since joining Minnesota this season, but the equalizing goal proved elusive and the hosts held on to win.
“We’ve got to do better. It’s not good enough to compete in this league,” said United FC coach Manny Lagos after seeing his side lose. “We had our chances but just couldn’t finish. We didn’t start well. We have to get back at it, and can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=4533
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