NASL Week 17: A Look Back

NASL Week 17: A Look Back

NASL

NASL Week 17: A Look Back

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IND - MIN, by Indy Eleven Facebook

Photo by Indy Eleven/NASL

It was a weekend of minnows playing spoiler for top teams seeking vital points in the playoff running.

Indy Eleven and the Jacksonville Armada came up with unlikely wins at home to deny Minnesota United and FC Edmonton.

Elsewhere, the Atlanta Silverbacks spoiled the party for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, keeping the visitors off the board in a scoreless draw that saw the Rowdies fall out of fourth place.

Two of the sides competing for the postseason did manage to get things done this weekend, though.

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers put on a clinic at home against the Carolina RailHawks to jump into the final playoff spot, while the Ottawa Fury kept the top playoff seed with a victory over the San Antonio Scorpions.

Here’s a closer look at the results from this weekend:

ROWDIES CAN’T FIND WIN IN ATLANTA

The Atlanta Silverbacks kept the Tampa Bay Rowdies off the board in a scoreless draw in Atlanta on Saturday.

The Silverbacks had a chance to score early through a Junior Burgos free kick, but Matt Pickens got hands to it to keep the score level.

Freddy Adu created a chance for the visitors in the 15th minute, sending a ball to meet the head of Stefan Antonijevic with a corner kick, but the flick went just wide of the post.

Both teams missed numerous chances through free kicks and corner kicks on the night.

The Silverbacks came out in the second half with a point to prove, but they could not capitalize on the better play with a goal and the match ended, 0-0.

STRIKERS TAKE CARE OF RAILHAWKS

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers had another splendid evening in the attack, earning a 4-0 win over the Carolina RailHawks in southern Florida on Saturday evening.

Frankie Sanfilippo got the scoring started in the 21st minute. The centerback headed home from a Stefano Pinho assist that came from the right wing.

Within ten minutes, the Strikers would double their lead through Jonathan Borrajo. The right back was the beneficiary of a failed clearance on the run from a RailHawks defender, with Borrajo striking the ball into the roof of the net from the end line in the 30th minute.

Just after halftime, Marlon Freitas made his way onto the scoresheet as the result of a spectacular sequence of play. In the 48th minute, a ball was played deep from midfield to the right side of the box, where Pinho controlled it and laid it off to Freitas for the one-time dipping strike to the near post.

The Brazilian with two assists would get a goal of his own in the 56th minute. Pinho tapped home a simple pass from Freitas, who was played in by a no-look long ball from the halfway line.

With the win, the Strikers take hold of the fourth and final playoff seed.

ELEVEN SHOCK MINNESOTA UNITEDĀ 

Indy Eleven played lights out at home on Saturday night, earning an inspired 3-1 win over Minnesota United.

The first strike came from Dylan Mares in the 39th minute. The Eleven striker picked up the ball near midfield, carried it into the attacking third, dished it out left to Daniel Keller and finally received the ball back to smash home for the opening goal.

The Eleven were back at it just after halftime, doubling their lead through a Brian Brown goal in the 55th minute. Zach Steinberger picked up the ball in his own half and drove down the field before picking out Don Smart on the right flank. Smart curled in a cross on the ground for Brown to slot home with a low shot to the far post.

Indy Eleven would continue to push in the second half, but they failed to find the back of the net again until the 82nd minute. Brad Ring’s goal was well worth the wait, though.

Mares drove down the left flank and kept possession with some talented footwork before the ball found its way to Duke Lacroix. Lacroix laid the ball off from the top of the box for an onrushing Ring, who launched a rocket to the left upper-90 from more than 25 yards out.

Brent Kallman pulled one back as consolation for United in the 85th minute, heading home from a Kevin Venegas corner kick to make the score 3-1.

ARMADA COME BACK LATE TO BEAT FC EDMONTON

Fans were treated to four goals in eight minutes in the second half on Saturday night, as the Jacksonville Armada came back at home to defeat FC Edmonton, 3-2.

The Armada boasted a 1-0 lead after Alhassane Keita found the back of the net in the 31st minute. Keita dribbled into the danger area and the ballĀ found Jemal Johnson, who put it back into the path of Keita to control and strike past the Edmonton goalkeeper.

In the 51st minute, Keita would pop up again but this time with a red card. The Armada attacker came in with studs up on a challenge from behind against Cristian Raudales and was sent off.

The Eddies would take their man advantage and score twice in three minutes to take the lead. Red-hot striker Daryl Fordyce tapped in the first in the 62nd minute, after a Frank Jonke shot deflected off the post and the goalkeeper.

Sainey Nyassi struck next for the Eddies in the 65th minute, firing home from a through ball sent into the right side of the penalty area.

It would take just moments for the Armada to draw a penalty, though. Pascal Millien converted in the 67th minute, sending the Edmonton goalie the wrong way to equalize.

Akeil Barrett eventually tallied the game-winner. Jemal Johnson had his shot from the top of the box blocked, and the ball fell to Barrett for the attacker to turn and fire home.

FURY NARROWLY DEFEAT SCORPIONS

The Ottawa Fury kept their first place spot in the Fall Season and combined standings with a 1-0 win over the San Antonio Scorpions at home on Sunday.

While Tom Heinemann tested the Scorpions goalkeeper early and often, nothing would come of the pressure that the Fury would pile on the Scorpions in the first half.

Rafael Castillo would produce some quality chances for the Scorpions in the first half as well, but Fury goalkeeper Romuald Peiser kept the visitors off the board with impressive saves.

It was the 68th minute when the deadlock was finally broken, as Mauro Eustaquio scored the go-ahead goal to send the Fury ahead at home. Julian de Guzman pulled off a back-heel pass to set up Eustaquio, who struck a shot into the net.

The Fury are now just a point away from securing the title of Fall Season Champions and a spot as the first or second playoff seed.

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