The Atlanta Silverbacks and Carolina RailHawks played to a 4-4 draw Saturday night in a wild game at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Playing in front of their home crowd for the first time this season, the RailHawks (0-2-0) asserted themselves immediately. After the Silverbacks defense failed to properly clear a corner kick from RailHawks midfielder Nick Zimmerman, forward Mike Palacio blasted a deflected shot past Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes for a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game.
In the 38th minute, Zimmerman took advantage of a miscue by Silverbacks defender Martyn Lancaster and finished easily past Illyes to double the RailHawks’ lead.
The Silverbacks (0-2-0) didn’t let up, though, and came up with an immediate answer to the RailHawks’ second goal. Midfielder Shane Moroney found forward Reinaldo Navia in the middle of the penalty area, and the Chilean international didn’t miss, guiding a low shot past RailHawks goalkeeper Ray Burse in the 40th minute.
Two minutes later, the Silverbacks brought the score level at 2-2 after forward Raphael Cox fired a low shot past Burse from 18 yards out.
Despite a few early second-half scoring chances for the RailHawks, it was the Silverbacks that would take the 3-2 lead. Defender Willie Hunt found the net in the 68th minute, powering a header into the net following a Silverbacks corner kick.
The Silverbacks first lead of the game didn’t last long, though, with Zimmerman converting for the second time in the 75th minute. Defender Kapuno Low’s 45-yard long ball ended up on the foot of Zimmerman, who blasted home from 12 yards to even the score at 3-3.
The game took an unfortunate turn for the Silverbacks two minutes after Zimmerman’s goal, with Hunt being shown his second yellow card of the game. Hunt’s ejection meant the Silverbacks were reduced to 10 men, but in the 80th minute, Navia gave his team an unlikely lead.
The former Club America star poked a slow-rolling shot through traffic, and left Burse helpless, giving the Silverbacks a 4-3 lead despite being down a player.
With only one minute remaining before stoppage time, the RailHawks fought back once more. Forward Brian Shriver blasted home a pass from midfielder Ty Shipalane to make the score 4-4.
The incredible scoreline would hold, earning each team a hard-fought point, but not before further drama unfolded. Midway through stoppage time, Silverbacks forward Nico Colaluca and RailHawks forward Brian Ackley engaged in a shoving match, which eventually earned them each red cards. After order was restored between the two benches, the referee made the decision to blow the final whistle and abandon the remaining one minute of stoppage time, preserving the 4-4 draw.
CAR: GK Ray Burse, D Greg Shields (Brian Ackley, 85), D John Krause, D Austen King, D Kupono Low (c), M Nick Zimmerman, M Amir Lowery, M Cory Elenio (Ty Shipalane, 81) , M Mike Palacio, M Brian Shriver; F Jason Garey
ATL: GK Daniel Illyes, D Patrick Robertson, D Martyn Lancaster (c), D Willie Hunt, D Kohei Matsushita (Ciaran O’Brien, 48), M Tony McManus, M Lucas Paulini (Jordan Davis, 79), M Raphael Cox, M Shane Moroney, F Nico Colaluca, F Reinaldo Navia (Fernando Gonzalez, 84)
CAR: Michael Palacio (unassisted), 2; Nick Zimmerman (unassisted), 38; Nick Zimmerman (Jason Garey), 74; Brian Shriver (Ty Shipalane), 90
ATL: Reinaldo Navia (Shane Maroney), 39; Raphael Cox (Tony McManus), 42; Willie Hunt (Ciaran O’Brien), 67; Reinaldo Navia (unassisted), 80
CAR: John Krause, 26; Amir Lowery, 61; Brian Ackley (Red Card) 90
ATL: Kohei Matsushita, 21; Lucas Paulini, 43; Willie Hunt, 54; Ciaran O’Brien, 70; Willie Hunt (Second Yellow Card) 77; Daniel Illyes, 81; Nico Colaluca (Red Card) 90
|Strikers Pick Up Options For Darnell King, Aly Alberto Hassan|
|FC Edmonton-Ottawa Fury Match-up Opens 2014 Canadian Championship|
|Minnesota United Re-Signs Jamaican International Omar Daley|
|Strikers Bring Back Gonzalez, De Mujica For 2014 NASL Season|
|Throwback Thursday - Pre-NASL: Los Angeles Defeats Washington For 1967 United Soccer Association Crown|
|RailHawks Exercises Options On Contracts Of Seven Players|
|Nassau County Celebrates Cosmos Soccer Bowl Success|
|FC Edmonton Adds Goalkeeper Farago To 2014 NASL Roster|
|Four Cosmos Players Sign Contract Extensions Through 2014 NASL Season|
|Scorpions Re-Sign Defender Janicki For 2014 NASL Season|
|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|