By FRANCO PANIZO
The Carolina RailHawks were down a goal with not much time left in their match against FC Edmonton, but two late strikes, including one in stoppage time, helped them come-from-behind to pick up a win that further distanced them from the Eddies for the final playoff spot.
Zack Schilawski found an equalizer in the 79th minute and Ty Shipalane scored near the death to complete a RailHawks' rally and give them a 3-2 win over the Eddies in frot of 3,688 pleased fans at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday. The win put sixth-place Carolina seven points clear of Edmonton in the standings, further boosting the RailHawks chances of making the postseason.
FC Edmonton had twice gone up in the match and looked ready to cut their point deficit in the standings to one, but they relinquished both of their leads before allowing Shipalane to break their hearts when he buried the winner.
Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 20 action in NASL:
SCORPIONS ROUT ROWDIES TO GRAB PLAYOFF BERTH
The San Antonio Scorpions have enjoyed a dream first season, and they became the first team to clinch a playoff berth by routing the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Scorpions gave the 7,024 fans in attendance at Heroes Stadium plenty to cheer about on Sunday, as they romped the Rowdies, 4-0. Three of the goals were scored in the opening 27 minutes and the last one came in second half stoppage time.
SILVERBACKS HOLD STARS TO GOAL-LESS TIE
It may not have been a win, but new Atlanda Silverbacks head coach Brian Haynes got a favorable result in his debut. The Silverbacks held the favored Minnesota Stars FC to a scoreless draw in front of 3,911 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park on Saturday thanks in part to a three-save performance from goalkeeper Daniel Illyes. The result extended the Stars' winless run to six games.
STRIKERS, ISLANDERS PLAY TO SCORELESS DRAW IN
The Puerto Rico Islanders opened the doors to their new home on Saturday, but their fans will have to wait at least another week to see the club score its first goal there. The Islanders settled for a goal-less draw with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in front of 7,192 supporters in the first NASL game at the newly-renovated Estadio Juan Roman Loubriel. Both teams had chances in the match, but neither was able to capitalize.
1. San Antonio Scorpions (12-4-6, 42 points, +22 GD)
2. Puerto Rico Islanders (10-7-5, 35 points, +6 GD)
3. Tampa Bay Rowdies (10-7-5, 35 points, +1 GD)
4. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (8-8-7, 31 points, -3 GD)
5. Minnesota Stars FC (7-8-7, 28 points, -1 GD)
6. Carolina RailHawks (7-7-7, 28 points, -5 GD)
7. FC Edmonton (5-11-6, 21 points, -5 GD)
8. Atlanta Silverbacks (4-11-7, 19 points, -15 GD)
What do you think of this weekend's NASL action? Impressed with the RailHawks' resiliency? Think the Eddies are done and not playoff bound? Think San Antonio can go all the way this year?
Share your thoughts below.