By DAN KARELL
After a nearly unstoppable run last fall, the New York Cosmos are experiencing their first losing streak.
For the second season in a row, the Cosmos fell on the road to the Carolina RailHawks, this time by a 1-0 scoreline. Ty Shipalane scored the RailHawks only goal but the credit has to go to Cesar Elizondo, who made a storming 70-yard run, evading Cosmos defenders in his path, before setting up Shipalane in the 12th minute.
Shipalane’s initial effort was blocked by Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer but the rebound fell right back to Shipalane and the South African buried his chance.
“It was a tough one and the guys showed a lot of character and we deserved it,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke said to NASL.com. “It was tough one last week, 4-0 (loss to Ottawa), but the guys also showed a lot of character. It has been a great 18 games (on the unbeaten), so let’s get another 18.”
The match was marred by three red cards shown by referee Jorge Gonzalez and a below-average performance from Marcos Senna, who was substituted at halftime by the Cosmos due to a “tight hamstring.”
With the loss, the Cosmos drop to fourth in the spring season standings with six points from four games. The win boosts the RailHawks to third place, just one point ahead of the Cosmos.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of the weekend’s action in NASL:
MINNESOTA UNITED POWER PAST INDY ELEVEN
Minnesota United are taking advantage of the Cosmos’ struggles to build a significant lead ahead of the pack.
Minnesota topped expansion side Indy Eleven, 3-2, on Saturday evening to remain undefeated after four weeks of the spring season. Minnesota United scored all three of their goals in the first half as they sliced open the Indy Eleven defense with ease.
Veteran midfielder Aaron Pitchkolan put the icing on the cake just before halftime with a 25-yard blast that Indy Eleven goalkeeper Kristian Nicht could do nothing about.
Indy Eleven substitute Kleberson scored on a penalty kick in the 90th minute, his second goal of the season.
STRIKERS RETURN HOME WITH CRUCIAL ROAD WIN
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers made the nearly 2,550 mile trip to Edmonton over the weekend, and were determined to return home with more than just frequent flyer miles.
The Strikers executed their plan to near perfection, defeating FC Edmonton, 3-1, on Saturday. Martin Nuñez, Fafa Picault, and Mark Anderson scored the goals for the Strikers in their win, which boosts them into second place in the standings.
Daryl Fordyce scored the lone goal for the Eddies in the defeat.
SILVERBACKS DEFEAT OTTAWA BEHIND QUICK-FIRE GOALS
The Atlanta Silverbacks won their second match in a row behind two goals scored in six minutes of game time in a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Fury.
Offseason signing Deon McCauley scored the opener one minute before halftime, as he took a headed pass from Jaime Chavez and finished at the far post. In the 50th minute, Chavez was the recipient this time as he headed home a cross into the middle with ease.
The Fury cut the deficit in half in the 90th minute when Omar Jarun sent a flicked header off a corner kick across the line.
HILL LEADS ROWDIES TO FIRST WIN OF THE YEAR
Shane Hill’s second half goal was the difference as the Tampa Bay Rowdies won their first game of the year, 1-0, over the San Antonio Scorpions.
Coming off a dramatic victory against the New York Cosmos, the Scorpions couldn’t muster up the same energy as the Rowdies took advantage. Goalkeeper Matt Pickens had a huge game in net as well for the Rowdies, stopping a slew of chances from the Scorpions.
What did you think of NASL Week 4? Which results stood out to you?
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