By EVAN REAM
Christian Ramirez scored a 14th minute penalty kick to set a club record of 14 goals in a single season, but it was not enough to give Minnesota United FC the win at home.
Minnesota United were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Tampa Bay Rowdies thanks to a second half Georgi Hristov equalizer.
The 2013 NASL MVP equalized 20 minutes from time with just his fifth goal of the season to keep the Rowdies unbeaten on the road in their last three games. With the draw, Minnesota United fall four points behind the San Antonio Scorpions with a game in hand, while the Rowdies move within six points of the top of the Fall Championship table.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of the weekend’s action in NASL:
SCORPIONS DOMINATE FC EDMONTON TO INCREASE LEAD ATOP FALL STANDINGS
With just under half of the NASL Fall Championship to play, the San Antonio Scorpions are making their case for the top spot in second half of the season and the automatic playoff berth that comes with it.
Thanks to a dominating 3-0 win against nine-man FC Edmonton at Toyota Stadium Saturday, which extended the team’s home unbeaten streak to eight, the Scorpions opened up a 4-point lead on second place Minnesota, winners of the Spring Championship.
Edmonton trailed just 1-0 at the half and looked to be the stronger side coming out of the break until two red cards in four minutes doomed the visitors despite a penalty kick save from goalkeeper Lance Parker.
The Scorpions easily took control of the game from there with goals from Billy Forbes and substitute Trevin Caesar, cementing all three points for the hosts.
The win also put the Texan side in pole position in the combined standings as they lead United by a single point, though the Minnesota-based club has a game in hand.
INDY ELEVEN TOP SILVERBACKS
While Indy Eleven has struggled at home in their short existence, the expansion team has enjoyed strong road form with all three of their all-time wins coming on the road, including Saturday’s result in Atlanta.
Indy Eleven picked up their first win since July 27 by knocking off the Atlanta Silverbacks, 2-1, behind goals from Jermaine Johnson and Montreal Impact loanee Blake Smith.
Johnson opened the scoring for Indy in the 15th minute before the Smith doubled the visitors’ advantage eight minutes before the end of the first half.
Akron product Blair Gavin opened his NASL account for the Silverbacks shortly before halftime, but it wasn’t enough to see the home side come up with a result.
COSMOS KEEP CLEAN SHEET
Goals from Colorado Rapids loanee Danny Mwanga and Marcos Senna saw the New York Cosmos end a three-game winless streak.
The Cosmos picked up a 2-0 victory over the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who fell behind the Cosmos due to the result.
Mwanga’s 17th minute opener was set up by a pair of former MLS defenders as a Hunter Freeman cross found the head of Carlos Mendes, who headed it across the goal for the former MLS No. 1 overall draft pick to slot a deflected strike home. Senna doubled the Cosmos advantage at the 30 minute mark via a penalty kick, earning the Cosmos the team’s first home win of the Fall Season.
FURY, RAILHAWKS PLAY TO DRAW
Brazilian forward Oliver scored a 90th minute equalizer for cellar-dwelling Ottawa Fury FC to secure just the fifth point for the Canadian side in the Fall Championship.
Oliver’s late finish earned Ottawa Fury FC a 2-2 draw with the Carolina Railhawks, cancelling out a 65th minute go-ahead-goal from Railhawks midfielder Ty Shipalane.
Tommy Heinemann opened the scoring for the home side before two second-half goals in a 4-minute period from midfielders Danny Barrera and Shipalane gave Carolina a lead that they would ultimately relinquish just minutes before the final whistle due to the finish from substitute Oliver.
With the draw, the two sides find themselves occupying the league’s last two positions, with the RailHawks holding a four point advantage, while Ottawa Fury FC have a game in hand.
What did you think of NASL Week 9? Which results stood out to you?
Share your thoughts below.