There was an element of déjà vu about Week 4 of the North American Soccer League Fall Season. The New York Cosmos won dramatically with an injury time strike just as they had on their last home appearance and Brian Shriver scored again to keep the Carolina RailHawks on top of the NASL standings.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers won for the second game running and the Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC Edmonton drew for the third time in three meetings in 2013, with Chris Nurse again on target for the Eddies.
Henry Lopez emerged as the newest modern era hero for the Cosmos, converting a cross from former Spain international midfielder Marcos Senna to deny the resilient San Antonio Scorpions their first point of the second half of the NASL season. Prolific Polish striker Tomasz Zahorski scored his fourth goal in as many games for San Antonio, only to again finish on the losing side.
“The game was different – they created chances, our goalkeeper was able to be big today in two or three situations and we also created more opportunities, found more spaces behind the other team,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese. “In some ways it was a different game, but the score was the same and the drama at the end was the same.”
Brian Shriver extended his Golden Boot lead to two goals over Scorpions forward Hans Denissen with his twelfth strike of the year and fourth goal of the fall, which was enough to earn a 1-0 home win over Minnesota United FC. The victory keeps Carolina on top of the standings, extending their lead to three points over the second-placed Cosmos, and also stretches the team’s unbeaten streak at Wake Med Soccer Park to 12 games in 2013.
“We have done a good job this evening and I am delighted that we got another clean sheet, but I think we need to kill off the game a little bit better next time,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. “Overall it was a great result and another three points.”
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are enjoying a true resurgence under new coach Gunter Kronsteiner, whose side won for the second week in a row as they edged a 1-0 win through a Bradlee Baladez goal that condemned the Atlanta Silverbacks to their first loss of the Fall Season. The win lifted the Strikers to fourth place in the standings with six points; trailing Florida rivals the Rowdies only on goal difference.
“We scored with the first big chance we got and I think we deserved the win,” said coach Kronsteiner. “We had a lot of chances to close this game, and the home team also had some chances. When I got to this team, the team was in last place and had no confidence. We’ve been working on building that confidence back up and I think they’ve been getting it back."
The Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC Edmonton shared the points at Al Lang Stadium in St Petersburg just as they had in the previous two meetings this year. Chris Nurse, who rescued a point for the Canadians last weekend, did the same again, cancelling out a Luke Mulholland goal as Tampa Bay again failed to take maximum reward at home.
“I thought it was a very tough game with nothing between the two teams and probably in the end a draw is a fair result,” said FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller.
Rowdies coach Ricky Hill, whose side sits in third place, added: “I’m frustrated because we shot ourselves in the foot and dropped two points at home and we can’t afford to do that.”
NASL Week 4 Results
Saturday, August 24
Carolina RailHawks 1 Minnesota United FC 0
Game Recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=5299
New York Cosmos 2 San Antonio Scorpions 1
Game Recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=5297
Atlanta Silverbacks 0 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1
Game Recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=5300
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 FC Edmonton 1
Game Recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=5298
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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|