The Carolina RailHawks remain on top of the North American Soccer League standings, but suffered their first defeat of the 2013 season and saw the Tampa Bay Rowdies drew level on points in pole position. All seven teams have now played six games at the midway point in the Spring Season.
Goal difference preserves the RailHawks’ edge in first place despite having gone down 2-0 away to the Atlanta Silverbacks, while playing a man short for most of the second half after Floyd Franks was shown a red card eight minutes after halftime.
The Rowdies edged a rematch of last season’s Soccer Bowl, winning a five-goal thriller over Minnesota United in the Metrodome with a last minute strike by Keith Savage as the game seemed destined to end in a draw.
“I’m really delighted to come to Minnesota and get all three points and I think on the balance of play they will be disappointed, but I was delighted with my team’s resolve throughout the game,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill. “At 2-2 we still pushed for what turned out to be the winner.”
The San Antonio Scorpions claimed a first win of the season, seeing off the challenge of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3-1 at Toyota Field as veteran Javier Saavedra scored after only a minute to set the home team on their way to victory. San Antonio climbs off the foot of the table with three points, trailed by the Strikers with four.
With Carolina and Tampa Bay locked together on 11 points at the top of the table, Atlanta moved up to third place only a point behind and are trailed by Minnesota and FC Edmonton, both on eight points in the race to host Soccer Bowl 2013.
“I didn’t care how we got it,” said Atlanta coach Brian Haynes of the win that propels his team up the standings. “We needed to get back on a winning streak and we did that tonight. We’ve worked hard and I’m proud of the boys.”
Minnesota United 2 Tampa Bay Rowdies 3
Minnesota United FC battled back from a fourth straight halftime deficit, but Keith Savage's 90th minute goal gave the opportunistic Tampa Bay Rowdies a 3-2 victory at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Rowdies seized control and moved level on points with the Carolina RailHawks at the top, taking second place by virtue of goal difference.
Michael Reed's first professional goal and Simone Bracalello's strike 10 minutes later had cancelled out goals from Shane Hill and Luke Mulholland in a game both teams attacked aggressively in a push for all three points.
“We made some mistakes to put us in a difficult situation in falling behind twice and not be able to get back at the end,” said United coach Manny Lagos. “We’ve got some work to do.
“Little plays at the end of halves add up. It was an exciting game for sure for the fans but for us it’s a tough loss and we need to pick our heads up and think how we get better.”
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=4587
Atlanta Silverbacks 2 Carolina RailHawks 0
The Atlanta Silverbacks topped the league-leading Carolina RailHawks, 2-0 on Saturday night in front of 4,716 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Goals from forward Ruben Luna and defender Martyn Lancaster paced the Silverbacks past the RailHawks, who saw defender Floyd Franks sent off early in the second half for a challenge on Silverbacks midfielder Danny Barrera.
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=4592
San Antonio Scorpions 3 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1
San Antonio recorded a win for the first time this season to climb off the foot of the table. Javier Saavedra scored after only a minute and with 52 minutes played Luka Vucko was first to react to force home a loose ball and open a two-goal cushion.
Almost immediately, the Strikers were back in contention when Scott Gordon halves the deficit, but the hosts were not to be denied that maiden victory and Edin Husic made the game safe.
“We felt if we opened up the game we would have more chances on goal,” said Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson. “We’re starting to learn a little bit more about ourselves.”
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=4594
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|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|