CARY, N.C.. (May 2, 2012) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2W-3T-1L) earned a come from behind draw on the road against the Carolina RailHawks (0W-4T-2L) by a final score of 3-3 on Wednesday night. The Strikers earn their first point at WakeMed Soccer Park in franchise history and move into second place in the NASL standings with nine points. The RailHawks remain winless through six matches.
Fort Lauderdale had the best early opportunity of the match, but Aly Hassan's 13th minute effort his the post. Carolina struck first when Brian Shriver put the RailHawks on top 1-0 just before halftime. Carolina doubled their lead early in the second half behind a goal from Nick Zimmerman.
Lance Laing scored the Strikers first goal of the match on a free kick in the 61st minute. The ball was 30 yards from goal and Laing curled a powerful shot over the wall and inside the near post. The goal cut the RailHawks lead to 2-1 after Carolina goals from former Striker Brian Shriver in the first half and Nick Zimmerman in the second minute of the second half.
Carolina would take a 3-1 lead in the 65th minute when Nick Zimmerman again found himself in front of goal. He had his first attempt saved, but collected the rebound and fired the goal past Matt Glaeser.
The Strikers pulled to within one goal when second half substitute Darnell King made a long run into the penalty area and laid an excellent pass off to Walter Restrepo who shot high and away from the reach of RailHawks goalkeeper Ray Burse.
King would have to be substituted in the 73rd minute with an apparent hamstring injury. His replacement, Mark Anderson, would be the difference maker for the Strikers. In the 77th minute, Anderson collected a Walter Restrepo pass near the top right corner of the box and sent a curling shot over the diving hand of Burse and into the far corner of the goal to tie the match at 3-3.
"We're happy for the point and that's the most important thing," said Laing. "Last year we came here twice and didn't get a point, but it's a new season."
“I’m very disappointed to give up another lead at home. We should have won today. It’s becoming something mental that we have to overcome, get over the little hurdle and we’ll be fine,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “Going forward we had a fantastic game, moving the ball, generating chances, and scoring goals. The play in the back just wasn’t good enough today.”
"The last goal was unbelievable," said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. "We're just happy to get out of here with a point."
Carolina travels to Edmonton for a Sunday clash. Fort Lauderdale next plays on May 12th in Puerto Rico.
More to follow...
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