By EVAN REAM
The rematch of the 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl did not disappoint as former MLS midfielder Danny Szetela grabbed a late goal to give the New York Cosmos all three points in a wild 3-2 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks in front of an announced crowd of 4,502 fans at Hofstra Stadium in New York.
Despite scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes of the match, New York nearly gave away an easy win as the struggling Silverbacks scored twice to level the match with 30 minutes left to play.
With just six minutes remaining in the match, Szetlea scored a dramatic winner from 12-yards out to give the Cosmos a nine-point cushion for a playoff spot in the combined NASL table.
The loss dropped the turmoil-ridden Silverbacks to ninth place in the fall table, seemingly out of the playoff picture with just 11 points from 10 games.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of the weekend’s action in NASL:
CAROLINA RAILHAWKS 3, SAN ANTONIO SCORPIONS 1
Midfielders Leo Osaki, Nazimi Albadawi and Enzo Martinez each scored for Carolina to power the Railhawks past in-form San Antonio at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The match was fairly even, with the sides splitting the possession down the middle. Polish forward Tomasz Zahorski gave the visiting side hope when he scored 17 minutes before the final whistle to pull within a goal, but Martinez put an end to the discussion in the 87th minute with his fifth goal of the season.
MINNESOTA UNITED 2, FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS 1
Miguel Ibarra scored a 54th minute winner to give Minnesota its first win in four matches and move the playoff-bound club within one point of first-place San Antonio in front of 6,202 fans in Minnesota.
Brazilian midfielder Pecka surprisingly opened the scoring for the visitors with a spectacular volley from outside the penalty box in the 31st minute, but United forward Christian Ramirez scored his NASL-leading 15th goal of the season to pull the home side level just seven minutes later.
INDY ELEVEN 1, FC EDMONTON 1
Seeking the first-ever winning streak in club history, Indy Eleven were forced to settle for a draw in front of an 11th consecutive sellout crowd of 10,567 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.
21-year-old midfielder Victor Pineda got Indy off to a strong start when he scored the first goal of his professional career in the 16th minute, but Neil Hlavaty responded for the Canadian side just nine minutes later with a magnificent 27-yard free kick that ended up just inside the left post and into the back of the net.
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES 0, OTTAWA FURY 2
The only road win in week 11 belonged to an unlikely team: expansion side Ottawa Fury.
Behind goals from Oliver and former MLSer Sinisa Ubiparipovic, the Canadian side picked up just the second win of the Fall Championship to move within two points of climbing out of last place.
Tampa Bay dominated the game, out-shooting Ottawa 19-6, but the Fury scored the only two goals of the game to take home all three points.