The North American Soccer League Spring Season will go down to the wire with three clubs still alive in the race to host Soccer Bowl and a fourth bidding to join them on Sunday.
The Carolina RailHawks delighted a crowd of 5,304 at WakeMed Soccer Park by grabbing a dramatic equalizer in the 89th minute to draw level with the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 1-1 stalemate. The RailHawks missed the opportunity to secure the title with a win, but go to San Antonio on the Fourth of July knowing a draw will likely be enough to finish on top.
“We knew that the first goal was going to be important tonight as we had our chances and we didn’t take them so it wasn’t what we were looking for,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. “It was important that we wanted to win it (the Spring title) in front of our own fans tonight, but we couldn’t so we will have to do it on the road next week.”
The Scorpions themselves will be eyeing a victory that would leave them with a chance of claiming the title on goal difference having jumped right back into the race by winning 4-1 away to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The Silverbacks head to Minnesota on Thursday now needing a win and Carolina and San Antonio to draw along with a swing in goal difference in their favor.
“We’ve said all along that every match matters and tonight’s games and the fact that the spring season champion will not be determined until the final kick of the ball on Thursday underlines that,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson.
Eager to jump into the mix are Minnesota United FC, who play at FC Edmonton at 4pm tomorrow (Sunday) knowing that a win will keep them in contention for the title with a home game still to come.
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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|