By JOHN BOSCHINI
The Railhawks are beginning to look unbeatable.
Carolina increased its lead at the top of the NASL to six points, taking advantage of Puerto Rico's hiatus, at the expense of rival Montreal Impact. The MLS-bound Impact is struggling mightily early in the season, earning only four points from a possible 15.
It might be time to hit the panic button in Atlanta as the Silverbacks sunk to their fifth loss of the season and have yet to win a game. The NSC Minnesota Stars thrashed the Silverbacks 3-0 at home and are up to fourth in the standings, one point behind Puerto Rico and Edmonton.
The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and FC TampaBay matchup scheduled for Saturday was postponed due to lighting. The game will be rescheduled for later in the season.
Here is a look back at both completed games in the NASL over the weekend.
Carolina Railhawks 2, Montreal Impact 1
The Carolina Railhawks extended their unbeaten run to six games as red-hot striker Etienne Barbara scored for a seventh consecutive game.
It was Barbara who put the visitors ahead with a goal after just eight minutes. The Maltese intertnational's shot from just outside the 18-yard box took a deflection off a Montreal defender and found the back of the net. Barabara extended the Railhawks lead just after the restart to bring his goal tally to nine on the season.
With nine goals, Barbara sets the mark for most goals scored by a Railhawks player in a single season, eclipsing the mark he set last season. The Railhawks lead the league with 15 goals scored.
Montreal managed to pull one back in the 85th minute with a one-timed goal from Idriss Ech-Chergui but it served as little more than a consolation goal.
NSC Minnesota Stars 3, Atlanta Silverbacks 0
The NSC Minnesota Stars made quick work of the struggling Atlanta Silverbacks with a dominating win at home.
Jeff Cosgriff put Minnesota ahead after only 17 minutes with a diving header courtesy of a Neil Hlvaty cross. Hlvaty would double Minnesota's lead with a spot kick in the second half. Ely Alan drew a foul in the box and Hlvaty sent Atlanta keeper Felipe Quintero the wrong way.
The result was put beyond all doubt in the 66th minute when Lucas Rodriguez added a goal of his own.
Atlanta sits dead last in both goals conceded and goals scored, allowing 11 while only scoring three.
What did you think of this weekend's action? Can Carolina hold off Puerto Rico once the Islanders return from hiatus? Could Minnesota challenge any of the top three? Disappointed to see Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa Bay postponed?
Share your thoughts below.
Well, when can he say that? The season’s now 1/4 over for the ‘Hawks, they are 5-1-1, they have 5 wins and a tie in their last 6, and were only 10 seconds from a tie in their season-opener.
“The Railhawks are beginning to look unbeatable.”
Don’t friggin’ say that, man! It’s still early days.
You’re right bigprof. Minnesota ahs been having some terrible weather (I mean seriously, someone should tell god that it’s May already). Our next two home games (one mid-week) had a big groupon promotion… here’s to hoping we can get things going.
man, except for Montreal, the attendance at all these games were horrible.
Atlanta looked really subpar against us on Saturday. Even their best player, Perez, seemed to disappear by the second half.