Tampa Bay Sports Day

NASL: Indy Eleven Finds Another Late Winner To Extend Home Winning Streak

Photo by NY Cosmos

It took until the early hours of Sunday morning to close out Saturday night’s action, thanks to a three-hour weather delay in Miami, as the majority of Week 7 finished in thrilling fashion.

Indy Eleven maintained its home winning streak with another late goal to down Rayo OKC in a rain-soaked contest at Carroll Stadium. In Ottawa, amid more heavy rain, Jacksonville Armada FC was able to pick up its first ever road win under the guidance of interim boss Mark Lowry, who made his head-coaching debut with the team. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers waited out the weather delay and then Miami FC’s back line to score twice in a late flurry to earn a win over their South Florida rivals. Former Juventus striker Amauri capped off his debut with a goal in the victory.

In New York, the Cosmos stormed back to overturn a two-goal deficit to defeat their longstanding rivals, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, in a feisty affair. Also on Saturday, Omar Bravo stayed hot to help the Carolina RailHawks earn a draw against Puerto Rico FC. Puerto Rican international Héctor Ramos was also on target in the draw.

Indy Eleven 2, Rayo OKC 1

Indy Eleven was able to conjure up more late-game magic in 2016 and secured a 2-1 win against Rayo OKC at Carroll Stadium. The win was Indy’s eighth in a row and home and stretched the club’s home unbeaten run to 13 games.

Colin Falvey scored the game-winning goal for the Eleven (6W-1D-2L, 19 points) after Rayo OKC goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes was unable to hold onto the ball off a corner. Indy’s captain was first to the ball and sent his shot into the empty net in the 84th minute.

Rayo OKC (3-4-2, 13) was able to grab an early advantage when Futty Danso opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Georgios Samaras was taken down and Michel’s ensuing free kick was volleyed by Danso past Indy goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Dylan Mares pulled the scored level when he fired a rebound into the goal in the 41st minute. Fernandes parried Eamon Zayed’s headed effort, but Mares was on hand to turn the ball into the net.

New York Cosmos 3, Tampa Bay Rowdies 2

Much like the Tampa Bay Rowdies did several weeks ago at Al Lang Stadium, the New York Cosmos overturned a two-goal deficit. The Cosmos were able to complete the comeback to secure a 3-2 win at Shuart Stadium.

David Diosa scored in the 93rd minute as the Cosmos (5-2-2, 17) maintained their unbeaten streak at home, which has reached 12 games.

The Rowdies (2-2-4, 8) came out flying on the road and scored twice in the first 15 minutes. Joe Cole put Tampa Bay in front in the 11th minute on an assist from PC. Just three minutes later, PC turned goalscorer to double the advantage.

Adam Moffat cut the deficit with his sixth goal of the year. His penalty kick beat Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the 39th minute. Moffat scored a second penalty kick in the 64th minute to level the score.

Both teams would be reduced to 10 men after Moffat and Darnell King received red cards in the 68th minute as tempers flared in New York.

Carolina RailHawks 2, Puerto Rico FC 2

The Carolina RailHawks were able to fight back against Puerto Rico FC and earn a 2-2 draw at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Forward Matt Fondy scored in the 89th minute to rescue a point for Carolina(2W-3D-3L, 9 points) when his header found the bottom corner to Puerto Rico FC goalkeeper David Meves’ left side. It was Fondy’s fourth goal of the year.

Omar Bravo found the net for the third time this year in the 40th minute. Tiyi Shipalane pushed the ball into space down the right side and cut the ball back to the Mexican star before sending his shot into the goal.

Puerto Rican international Héctor Ramos led the charge for the visitors. He sent a backheel pass to Paulo Mendes, who finished from close range in the 52nd minute. Ramos then put Puerto Rico FC (1-4-4, 7) in front in the 67th minute when his header off of Ramon Martin del Campo’s cross beat Carolina goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre in what appeared to be the game-winning goal before Fondy’s late equalizer. The goal was Ramos’ sixth of the Fall Season.

Jacksonville Armada FC 2, Ottawa Fury FC 1

Jacksonville Armada FC earned a win in Mark Lowry’s coaching debut against Ottawa Fury FC at TD Place on Saturday.

Danny Mwanga slipped a ball through Jacksonville’s back line and Carl Haworth finished his team-leading sixth goal, firing to the far post past Armada FC goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo in the 26th minute. The visitors, though, would answer two minutes later. Alhassane Keita slotted his effort past Ottawa (3-0-5, 9) goalkeeper Romuald Peiser to score the equalizer.

Alhassane Keita scored his second of the game in the 87th minute. The goal lifted Jacksonville (2-2-5, 8) to its first win on the road in the club’s history.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2, Miami FC 0

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers outlasted a three-hour weather delay and then the Miami FC defense to earn a win at Ocean Bank Field.

Locked in a stalemate, with each side finding attacking opportunities hard to come by, the Strikers (2-1-5, 4) found the breakthrough. Miami FC’s Wilson Palacios attempted to shield the ball, but Paulo Junior was able to poke his right foot onto the ball and past on-rushing Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega for the opening goal of the game in the 84th minute.

Checking into the game for his Strikers debut in the 76th minute, former Juventus and Italian national team forward Amauri needed just 10 minutes to score his first goal. Jose Angulo sent a cross into the box and Miami (3-2-1, 11) afforded Amauri time and space to chest the ball down before sending a half volley past Vega.