BY COLE KELLOGG
NASL newcomers the Jacksonville Armada did what no other team could do and finally beat the New York Cosmos in 2015.
The Armada, who sit in the 10th spot in the table after four Fall Season matches, secured a 1-0 result in Florida in front of 8,167 on Saturday.
Elsewhere around the league, both Canadian teams won to continue a stellar start to their seasons. FC Edmonton won on the road, putting its tally to five points in three away games this Fall. Meanwhile, Ottawa Fury FC put an end to Indy Eleven’s undefeated start thanks to a Richie Ryan brace.
The Carolina Railhawks played the San Antonio Scorpions to a five-goal thriller, with Nacho Novo playing the hero role with two goals and an assist in the Railhawks victory.
Elsewhere in the league, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers played the Atlanta Silverbacks to a 2-2 draw.
Here’s a closer look at this past weekend’s NASL action:
ARMADA STIFLE COSMOS
The New York Cosmos faced its first league loss of the 2015 season on Saturday after going undefeated in 11 matches.
The Jacksonville Armada defied all odds to record a 1-0 victory despite being without Alhassane Keita, Marcos Flores, and Pacal Millien, a trio accounted for nine of the Armada’s 15 goals on the season.
After not playing last week, the Cosmos could not get the job done on its return to action against the Armada in Florida. The Spring Season champions struck the goalpost twice in the first half, but ultimately couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.
The home side went ahead in the 54th minute, when Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer couldn’t clear the ball in time. Tommy Krizanovic, in his first start for his hometown team, tapped in an initial header from Akeil Barrett for the winner.
Armada goalkeeper David Sierra is a big part of the reason his side collected all three points in this match, recording seven vital saves against one of the most dangerous attacks in the league.
EDMONTON SLIDES PAST ROWDIES
Three weeks into the Fall Season of NASL, FC Edmonton is continuing to impress with its potent attack.
After a road trip that was long in both time and mileage, the Eddies defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0, in a hard fought game in Florida.
Edmonton took the lead in the 56th minute of play, thanks to an own goal by Rowdies’ defender Stefan Antonijevic. The goal came when Mallan Roberts headed a cross that Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens saved. Antonijevic was unlucky, though, and the ball went in his own net off of his body.
While the Canadian team pulled out the three points in this match, it was Tampa that had the more clinical of the chances throughout the duration of the 90 minutes. The Rowdies put together 22 attacks to Edmonton’s six.
Tampa Bay’s newest addition, Freddy Adu, did not dress for the match.
RAILHAWKS DEFEAT SCORPIONS IN FIVE GOAL THRILLER
The Carolina RailHawks are second in the table after securing a 3-2 win over the San Antonio Scorpions at home at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday.
Carolina found the back of the net first, as Neil Hlavety put home Nacho Novo’s cross from the left side of the field with a volley in the 22nd minute. The Railhawks doubled the lead just minutes later as Novo found the net himself in the 24th minute, punishing the Scorpion’s defense for a loose ball in the box.
In the 35th minute, the Scorpions got on the board as Cesar Elizondo headed home from a free kick.
The man of the night wasn’t done yet, though, and Novo put home a penalty in the 67th minute to restore his side’s two-goal lead.
But in the 75th minute, the Scorpions scored a penalty of its own through Rafael Castillo to pull within one. However, The result was secured for the Railhawks in the 90th minute by a diving save from Akira Fitzgerald that kept out a Scorpions free kick.
OTTAWA PUTS FOUR PAST INDY
Ottawa Fury FC beat Indy Eleven, 4-2, at home to stretch its unbeaten streak to eight matches.
Rafael Alves scored a header in the 13th minute for the Fury’s first goal. In the 33rd, Indy equalized through a brilliant dipping shot from distance courtesy of Don Smart.
Minutes afterward in the 35th, Richie Ryan put the Canadian side back in front with a fantastic free kick from just outside the box.
In the 56th, a ball cleared by Alves out of the back ended up putting Tom Heinemann in perfect position to take on two defenders and fire a shot past Indy’s goalkeeper. Kristian Nicht should’ve done better, but a quickly taken shot to the lower corner from Heinemann gave the Fury a 3-1 lead.
Richie Ryan would make it 4-1 with his second free kick goal of the night in the 65th minute. From virtually the same position on the field, Ryan sent a curled effort to the far corner to complete an impressive brace.
Judson McKinney would head home in the 90th minute for a consolation goal, but Indy had already succumbed to the dominant attacking display of the Fury.
STRIKERS DRAW WITH SILVERBACKS
The Strikers drew 2-2 with the Atlanta Silverbacks this weekend.
In the 55th minute, Marlon Freitas struck home a lofted cross from PC for the first goal of the match.
The Silverbacks equalized in the 64th, as Jaime Chavez scored a bicycle kick from a Paul Black cross.
Atlanta would’ve thought that the had secured the come-from-behind victory when Pedro Mendes put them ahead in the 76th minute. But a late foul in the box by Kosuke Kimura would give the Strikers the chance it needed to draw level at home. Walter Ramirez drew and converted a penalty in the 90th minute.
The Strikers dominated the attacking chances during the match, putting up 17 shots to the Silverbacks’ three. The side will rue its missed chances, though, after Atlanta scored with both of its shots on goal.