Indy Eleven, FC Edmonton Sit Atop Standings After Thrilling Week 6 Action

Joe Cole scores winner in Florida Derby, Miami FC crushes Minnesota United FC
NASL Staff (@naslofficial} | Aug 6, 2016

Photo credit: Indy Eleven/Matt Schlotzhauer

Miami FC served notice that it will be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch of the NASL Fall Season. The club’s empathic victory in Week 6 – a 4-0 thrashing of host Minnesota United FC - pushed it into the thick of the race for a postseason spot on Saturday night.

Goals by Jonny Steele, Ariel Martínez, and Kwadwo Poku in the game’s first half-hour sent Coach Alessandro Nesta’s rapidly improving squad to its second straight win and third in the side’s last four matches.

At the top of the table, Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton both recorded victories to remain tied, on points, in first place. The Eleven finished a busy week by scoring a late goal to defeat Ottawa Fury FC, 1-0, and the Eddies won their third straight game on a goal by Tomi Ameobi at Puerto Rico FC.

Matt Pickens made two crucial saves to preserve a victory for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, with Joe Cole providing the offensive spark in the club’s 2-1 triumph over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Elsewhere, Jacksonville Armada FC snapped a five-game losing streak by spotting Carolina an early goal, then coming back to score twice before conceding in the 2-2 draw.

In Sunday’s matinee, Rayo OKC traveled to New York and broke the Cosmos’ NASL record 10-game home winning streak as Georgios Samaras led the team to a 1-1 draw in the coaching debut of Gerard Nus.

Miami FC 4, Minnesota United FC 0

Jonny Steele gave Miami FC (3-2-1, 11) the lead in the ninth minute when his hard shot took a deflection and bounded past Minnesota (3-2-2, 11)  goalkeeper Steward Ceus. The visitors made it 2-0 in the 21st minute when Ariel Martínez broke into the penalty area and scored on a left-footed shot. Five minutes later, Kwadwo Poku scored his third goal of the Fall Season and the third goal of the first half-hour for Miami FC. Aaron Dennis scored from distance for the visitors to complete the scoring.

Indy Eleven 1, Ottawa Fury FC 0

Indy Eleven extended its unbeaten streak at Michael A. Carroll Stadium to seven games with a late goal to defeat Ottawa Fury FC Saturday night. Indy took six points from a possible nine in its three games over the past week and sits atop of the Fall Season Standings for at least another day.

With the game seemingly headed for a scoreless draw in second-half stoppage time, Dylan Mares struck a long cross from the left flank to the far post where Don Smart was waiting. The Jamaican snuck a volley into the net to help Indy (5-1-2, 16) end the three-game winning streak of Ottawa (3-0-4, 9).

FC Edmonton 1, Puerto Rico FC 0

FC Edmonton made the long trip to Puerto Rico and pocketed all three points in the win at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium on Saturday night. It was the Eddies’ third consecutive victory and put them into a tie, on points, at the top of the Fall Season Standings.

Tomi Ameobi put FC Edmonton (5-1-1, 16) in the lead midway through the second half, redirecting with his head a cross from Shawn Nicklaw past Puerto Rico FC (1-3-4, 6) goalkeeper David Meves. The win was only Edmonton’s second in their last five road games.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1

Joe Cole’s searching diagonal cross found Keith Savage at the far post and Savage smashed a left-footed shot over Fort Lauderdale (1-1-5, 4) goalkeeper Bruno to give Tampa Bay (2-2-3, 8) the lead in the 50th minute. Cole scored the fourth goal of his NASL career, doubling the lead in the 58th minute. Georgi Hristov picked up the assist after cutting a pass back from the end line to Cole.

Fort Lauderdale pulled one back when Jose Angulo converted a pass from Manny Gonzalez in the 71st minute. The Strikers had a golden opportunity to tie the match five minutes later, but Pickens saved Adrianinho’s attempt from the penalty spot. Pickens then made a reflex save on Angulo late in the match to save the three points for the Rowdies.

Jacksonville Armada FC 2, Carolina RailHawks 2

Charles Eloundou scored the first two goals of his NASL career and Jacksonville Armada FC ended a five-game losing streak in a draw against the Carolina RailHawks at Community First Park on Saturday night.

Carolina (2-2-3, 8)  jumped in front in the seventh minute when Matt Fondy scored his third goal since joining the RailHawks after spending the Spring Season with Jacksonville (1-2-5, 5). Fondy converted a perfect pass from the Mexican veteran Omar Bravo, who drew two defenders to him before passing across the top of the goal box. Armada FC leveled the score in the 19th minute as Lucas Scaglia crossed from the right and Eloundou extended his right leg high and powered a shot over Akira Fitzgerald.

Eloundou gave Jacksonville the lead, scoring unassisted in the 50th minute on a left-footed shot placed in the upper corner. Bravo then tied the score when he headed in a cross from Steven Miller in the 68th minute.

New York Cosmos 1, Rayo OKC 1

Georgios Samaras went the full 90 minutes in the coaching debut of Gerard Nus and Rayo OKC ended the New York Cosmos’ NASL record 10-game home winning streak in a in a 1-1 draw at James M. Shuart Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Cosmos remain unbeaten in 11 home games.

Rayo OKC (3-4-1, 13) quickly took a 1-0 lead when Billy Forbes and Samaras collaborated on the game’s first goal, in the fourth minute. Forbes crossed from the right and the Greek former international volleyed it past New York (4-2-2, 14) goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer with his right foot from close range.

It was the second goal of the year and a fourth start for Samaras. Rayo OKC put on the pressure again later in the first half, coming up with an errant clearance that led to Samaras forcing Maurer to make a sprawling save on in the 36th minute to keep it 1-0.

In the 38th, New York’s Lucky Mkosana went to work on the left flank, cutting the ball back several times before being taken down in the penalty area. Referee Sorin Stoica pointed to the penalty spot and the Cosmos’ Adam Moffat tied the game with this fifth goal of the year, all scored at home.

The draw leaves the Cosmos in second place in the Fall Season standings, two points behind Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton; Rayo OKC is a point behind New York in third.

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