WEEK 12 RECAP | Postseason Race Tightens After Exciting Night Of Fall Season Action

Canadian clubs earn crucial road wins; Cosmos and Loons draw in Minnesota
NASL Staff | Sep 19, 2015

Goalkeeper Romuald Peiser notched his league-leading 12th shutout of the year on Saturday night as Ottawa Fury FC closed the door on Fort Lauderdale’s prolific attack in its 2-0 win in Week 12 of the NASL Fall Season.

The victory gives Ottawa a two-point lead over Minnesota United in the race for first place in the Fall Season, and the automatic berth in The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament. Fury FC received goals from former Strikers forward Aly Hassan and veteran midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic. Fort Lauderdale saw its six-game unbeaten streak and rapid ascent up the standings end, while Ottawa walked away from the night with sole possession of first place in the Fall Season Standings.

STANDINGS | The Championship Race tightens with Week 12 results

Before a club record crowd of 9,418 in Blaine, Minn., United played to an intense and wide-open draw that ended scoreless despite plenty of chances for both sides. Each team settled for a point in the end, leaving the Cosmos at the top of the Combined Standings and the Loons not far behind.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies, who have struggled to find their footing in the Fall Season, kept alive its hopes of playing in the postseason, using its 2-0 victory over the visiting San Antonio Scorpions to move into fourth place in the Combined Standings, two points ahead of Fort Lauderdale.

In other games, the Atlanta Silverbacks spotted the Carolina RailHawks an early goal, but then rallied for two of its own before the end of the first half to take three points at Silverbacks Park, while FC Edmonton sent Indy Eleven to its third straight loss in Indianapolis.

Atlanta Silverbacks 2, Carolina RailHawks 1

Carolina (3W-3D-8L, 12 points Fall; 6-8-10, 26 Combined) raced in front in the game’s first minute when a clearance by Atlanta (6-3-5, 21 points Fall; 7-8-9, 29 Combined) goalkeeper Steward Ceus deflected off Tyler Engel and into the net for a bizarre opening goal. Atlanta drew even in the 31st minute when Pedro Mendes took a pass from Jaime Chávez and fired past Akira Fitzgerald. Three minutes later, Chávez controlled the ball in front of the net and rolled a back pass to Kyle Porter, who curled a shot inside the near post to give the Silverbacks the lead. Atlanta played the match without defender Rauwshan McKenzie, who had played every minute of every match up until his red card in the team’s midweek loss to Minnesota. Carolina has now won only once in eight games.

Ottawa Fury FC 2, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0

Aly Hassan gave Ottawa (8-4-1, 28 Fall, 10-9-4, 39 Combined) the lead in the 52nd minute, scoring against his old club in front of the supporters that used to cheer him on. Hassan moved from the Strikers (5-5-3, 20 Fall; 8-7-8, 31 Combined) to Canada’s capital city during the break between the Spring and Fall Seasons. A few minutes later, the Strikers’ Marlon Freitas had a clear look at the goal from about 20 yards out. His right-footed shot froze goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, but rattled off the far post and rebounded clear. Ottawa took a two-goal lead about nine minutes after Fort Lauderdale defender PC was shown his second yellow card of the game, in the 72nd minute. A quick counterattack ended with Sinisa Ubiparipovic powering a long shot past Josh Ford. The loss ended Fort Lauderdale’s six-game unbeaten streak and was Ottawa’s first game on a three-game road trip that continues Tuesday night at New York. Peiser also notched his league-leading 12th shutout of the year.

FC Edmonton 2, Indy Eleven 0

In the 55th minute, Jamaican international Lance Laing passed to forward Daryl Fordyce, who pushed the ball around Erick Norales and put a shot past Kristian Nicht to give FC Edmonton (6-4-4, 22 Fall; 8-7-9, 31 Combined) the lead before 9,840 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis. Sainey Nyassi iced it for Edmonton when he pounced on a loose ball and first-timed a shot low to the far corner sending Indy Eleven (3-3-8, 12 Fall; 6-7-11, 25 Combined) to its third-straight loss – all by identical 2-0 scores.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2, San Antonio Scorpions 0

After two apparent goals were waved off because of offside early in the first half, Tampa Bay (4-2-7, 14 Fall; 9-6-8, 33 Combined) took the lead in the 50th minute when Corey Hertzog converted a penalty kick before 6,135 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. Defender Zourab Tsiskaridze of San Antonio (3-4-6, 13 Fall; 6-7-10, 25 Combined) was called for handling the ball in the area on a cross from the left flank. In the 88th minute, Darnell King swooped in for a steal, dribbled in alone to the end line, and crossed for Darwin Espinal, whose shot was stopped. Venezuelan international Juan Guerra was there, however, to power the rebound past Scorpions goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes.

Minnesota United FC 0, New York Cosmos 0

After a spirited, entertaining, and scoreless first half before a club record 9,418 at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn., the second half was spirited, entertaining, and also scoreless. But that was not for lack of trying by both teams throughout the game. New York (6-4-2, 22 Fall; 11-9-2, 42 Combined) put on pressure early with Lucky Mkosana testing Minnesota (7-4-2, 25 Fall; 10-9-4, 39 Combined) goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock with a header inside the first five minutes. Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer helped keep the Loons at bay, making a reflex save in the 84th minute on substitute Alejandro Vela to preserve the stalemate. Minnesota is now unbeaten in eight games, a streak that includes five wins. Minnesota has not managed to defeat New York in the eight all-time meetings. The veteran Cosmos now have to bounce back for a game against first-place Ottawa Fury FC at Shuart Stadium on Tuesday night.

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