Deadly forward Brian Shriver scored twice and took over the lead in the NASL Golden Boot top scorer competition to fire his Carolina RailHawks to the top of the North American Soccer League standings.
Shriver netted his tenth and eleventh goals of the 2013 campaign, giving him three goals in the last two games, as the RailHawks downed the New York Cosmos 3-0 at a rain-swept WakeMed Soccer Park, dropping the visitors to fifth place in the standings.
“New York probably had the more shots and more possession, but we took our chances,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “For me, that was our biggest weakness in the spring and something we have worked on a great deal. New York is a very good team, with good players. This was a big win tonight, we will enjoy it and then move our focus on to the next match.”
The Tampa Bay Rowdies dropped down a spot to second place, two points behind Carolina, but were fortunate to steal a point from Minnesota where hosts United FC were denied a win and three points with the final play of the game. Andreas Arango struck in added time, getting his head to a cross by captain Frankie Sanfilippo with only seconds remaining in a 1-1 draw.
“I have to give credit to my players for fighting hard until the last minute and I can’t grumble about taking a point,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill.
Disappointed Minnesota United FC coach Manny Lagos said: “It’s a tough one for us to walk off the field with only a point, but there were some positives. It’s a crazy game that you can play well and not win. It’s a shame that we couldn’t see the game out because the fans who were here deserved that. It was a frustrating end.”
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers earned new coach Gunter Kronsteiner his first win, holding on to a 2-1 lead secured in the first half, despite a determined San Antonio Scorpions pressing for an equalizer in front of their home crowd. A Martin Nunez header and Mark Anderson free kick earned a two-goal lead that was halved by Tomasz Zahorski on the stoke of halftime, and the Strikers defended sternly to win.
“I feel very good today because I thought the team deserved the three points,” said Striker coach Kronsteiner. “I think we need every day to work in practice and change things and we are slowly being able to do that. I was happy with the first half today.”
Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson, whose side has opened the Fall Season with three losses having closed out the spring campaign as the league’s form side, said: “It’s very disappointing that we weren’t able to find the back of the net, but I saw signs of our forwards being great threat.”
On Sunday the spring title winners Atlanta Silverbacks travel to Canada to take on FC Edmonton at Clarke Stadium. The game kicks off at 4pm ET and is available live on www.NASL.com/live outside Canada where the clash will air nationally on Sportsnet at 9pm MT / 11pm ET.
North American Soccer League Fall Season Week 3 Results
Saturday, August 17
Carolina RailHawks 3 New York Cosmos 0
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=5236
Minnesota United FC 1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 1
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=5238
San Antonio Scorpions 1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2
Game recap: http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=5240
Sunday, August 18
FC Edmonton vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
Clarke Stadium; Edmonton, AB 4:00 pm
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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|