Tampa Bay Sports Day

NASL: Stoppage-Time Winners Headline Results As Edmonton Tops Rowdies

Photo by Tampa Bay Rowdies

FC Edmonton continued to roll through North American Soccer League (NASL) play on Saturday night, earning its fifth straight win to move to the top of the both Fall Season and Combined Standings. The club received some sensational goalkeeping from Matt VanOekel to claim all three points on the road in Tampa Bay.
VanOekel’s performance at Al Lang Stadium was just one of the many storylines that unfolded on a dramatic night that featured three games being decided by goals in second-half stoppage time.
The Carolina RailHawks handed Spring Season Champion Indy Eleven a tough loss when Omar Bravo stepped up and converted from the penalty spot to send the home crowd into frenzy. In Puerto Rico, Andrés Flores found the target with a long-range drive to push the New York Cosmos past Puerto Rico FC and up into second place in the Fall Standings. Miami FC also grabbed all three points at the death thanks to Ariel Martinez’s acrobatic finish in a 2-1 road win.
Former Juventus and Italian national team forward Amauri starred in the Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ first game at Central Broward Stadium, scoring on a superb bicycle kick in a win over Ottawa Fury FC. On a hot afternoon in Jacksonville, the Armada FC and Minnesota United earned one point apiece in a scoreless draw.
FC Edmonton 1, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
FC Edmonton now sits atop the Fall Season and Combined Standings thanks to a win on Saturday over the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Daryl Fordyce scored the lone goal for the Eddies (7W-1D-1L, 22 points) on a penalty kick in the 74th minute after Darnell King was ruled for a foul on Tomi Ameobi. FC Edmonton got a little redemption after Ameobi missed a penalty kick in a 1-0 road loss to the Rowdies in the Spring Season.
Tampa Bay (2-2-6, 8) had a bevy of chances to either score or equalize, but Eddies goalkeeper Matt VanOekel continued his stellar play in 2016. He stopped all nine shots on goal that he faced in the win over the Rowdies. FC Edmonton has now won five straight games and four in a row by a score of 1-0.
Carolina RailHawks 3, Indy Eleven 2
The Carolina RailHawks came from behind to defeat Indy Eleven at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday. Omar Bravo lifted Carolina to the win with his fourth goal in six games. The Mexican star scored deep into second-half stoppage time from the penalty spot to stun the league leaders (at the time).
Greg Janicki put Indy (6-1-3, 19) in the lead when he rose to nod a header past Carolina goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald in the 20th minute. Just three minutes later, Matt Fondy scored his fifth goal of the Fall Season, slotting the ball home after a pass from Nazmi Albadawi.
Eamon Zayed moved within one goal of Minnesota United forward Christian Ramirez’s league-leading 13 tallies when he scored from the penalty spot in the 30th minute. Soulemayne Youla was pulled down by Drew Beckie to create the chance for Zayed. RailHawks (3-3-3, 12) defender Steven Miller pulled the score level with a strike from long distance in the 54th minute before Bravo’s goal clinched a full share of the points.
New York Cosmos 2, Puerto Rico FC 1
The New York Cosmos earned a dramatic comeback win against Puerto Rico FC on Saturday at the Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium. Andrés Flores scored on a blast from distance in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to lift the Cosmos (6-2-2, 20) to a road victory.
Puerto Rican international Héctor Ramos gave the home side the lead in the 28thminute after firing home a pass from Paulo Mendes. It was Ramos’ seventh goal of the Fall Season.
New York equalized when a Puerto Rico FC (1-4-5, 7) defender headed a ball backwards and goalkeeper David Meves didn’t get enough on his punch and then dropped the ball on his attempt to catch it. Jairo Arrieta pounced to score into an open net in the 62nd minute.
Miami FC 2, Rayo OKC 1
Miami FC fought back against Rayo OKC to earn all three points at Miller Stadium on Saturday. Ariel Martinez lopped a half volley over Rayo OKC goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to give Miami (4-2-4, 14) the dramatic victory and lift the club over the home side in the Fall Season Standings.
Rayo OKC (3-4-3, 13) grabbed the lead in the 25th minute when Billy Forbes centered for Robbie Findley, who found the back of the net with a simple finish.
Miami FC initially equalized the contest when Pablo Campos directed Blake Smith’s pass into the back of the net in the 79th minute. Campos increased his all-time NASL scoring lead with his 53rd in league play. The goal at Miller Stadium was his first of the year and first in a Miami shirt.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3, Ottawa Fury FC 1
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers marked their debut game at Central Broward Stadium with a win over Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday night.
The Strikers (3-2-5, 11) took an early lead when Amauri played the ball to Jose Angulo, who sent a backheel back into the path of the Italian international to open the scoring in the 18th minute. Ottawa, though, would strike back ten minutes later when Carl Haworth connected with Maxim Tissot’s cross to head past Strikers goalkeeper Bruno. It was Haworth’s seventh tally of the year. In the 38th minute, Haworth had a chance to add to his name to the scoresheet once more, but Bruno was up to the task and stopped his penalty kick.
Fort Lauderdale grabbed the lead in the 77th minute when Amauri finished with a sensational bicycle kick. The Strikers then added another goal when Fury FC (3-0-6, 9) defender Rafael Alves turned a ball into his own net in the 83rd minute.
Jacksonville Armada FC 0, Minnesota United 0
In the Florida sun on Saturday afternoon, Jacksonville Armada FC and Minnesota United played to a scoreless draw at Community First Park.
Minnesota (4-3-3, 15) had the best chance of the first half to open the scoring, but Matt Bahner was able to block Tiago Calvano’s effort on goal in the 42nd minute. The Jacksonville (2-4-5, 10) defender had another crucial block in the 89th minute, getting in the way of Danny Cruz’s attempt.
The Loons finished the game with 10 men when Ibson was sent off for a high boot in the 77th minute.