By EVAN REAM
It took them 13 tries, but expansion side Indy Eleven finally earned their first home win. They did so in impressive fashion, topping league-leading Minnesota United 2-0 in front of their usual sellout crowd of 10,285 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
The win resulted in a full-scale pitch invasion for a side that has won only three other times in the combined season.
United came into the match with victories in their last four games, and would have clinched the No. 1 postseason seed with a victory, but the Eleven’s Victory Pineda opened the scoring with a one-time shot just eight minutes into the match.
Indy doubled their lead, and wrapped up all three points, just one minute after halftime when substitute forward Jhulliam rifled a left-footed screamer into the roof of the net, sending the home fans into delirium.
Here’s a look back at the rest of the weekend’s action in the NASL:
SCORPIONS EMPHATICALLY PUNCH PLAYOFF SPOT
The San Antonio Scorpions needed just one goal to put away the struggling Tampa Bay Rowdies and clinch a spot in the NASL playoffs.
They got a lot more than just one goal, riding braces from Rafael Castillo, Cesar Elizondo and Eric Hassli to a 7-0 blowout over the Rowdies.
The Scorpions didn’t open the scoring until a 27th-minute goal from Walter Restrepo, but piled on five second-half goals to solidify their hold on the second seed.
CHIRISHIAN’S DRAMATIC WINNER DOWNS FURY
With the match tied 1-1 in the 93rd minute and his team facing its third straight draw, New York Cosmos’ midfielder Hagop Chirishian scored his first goal for the club to put the Cosmos within three points of clinching a playoff berth.
Diomar Diaz opened the scoring for the Cosmos two minutes before halftime, but Fury forward Tommy Heinemann, who would later receive a red card, equalized in the 58th minute.
STRIKERS EARN DRAW WITH SILVERBACKS
Fafa Picault’s 79th-minute goal, his 12th of the season, looked to be the winner for the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers in Atlanta, but the Strikers shot themselves in the foot, scoring an own goal just before the end of time.
A win would have given the Strikers a four-point lead for the final playoff spot with just three games remaining, but they couldn’t pull off the result against a Silverbacks team that had lost five straight games.
EDMONTON KEEPS PLAYOFF HOPES ALIVE WITH WIN
Fighting for their postseason lives – a loss would have put the Canadian side eight points out of the last playoff spot – FC Edmonton grabbed a 3-0 home win over fellow postseason contender Carolina RailHawks in the only Sunday fixture of the week.
A win for the RailHawks would have put them in a playoff position, but Edmonton defender Mallan Roberts scored the opening goal just five minutes into the match. Ritchie Jones scored 11 minutes later and Tomi Amoebi added an insurance goal in the 51st minute to down the RailHawks, who had won three of their previous four games.
What do you make of the weekend’s action? Can Edmonton sneak into the playoffs? Happy Indy Eleven finally rewarded those large crowds with a home win?
Share your thoughts below.