A pair of goals from forward Brian Shriver in the final four minutes of the match paced the Carolina RailHawks to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over visiting Minnesota United FC at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday evening.
The victory along with the loss from the Atlanta Silverbacks, 2-1, to Tampa Bay Rowdies this evening, puts Carolina back on top of the NASL standings with two weeks remaining in the Spring Season.
“I'm disappointed with the first 13 minutes as we gave up some bad goals and bad defensive plays, but apart from that I still think we played well in first half as we had some great chances and they had a hard time containing us and it was important for us to get one back and we did,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. “In the second half, we continued to pass the ball well as we did and created more chances and got the goals we needed.
“We deserved to win today we were the better team. It was fun to watch, it was a great game.”
After trailing 2-1, Shriver leveled (2-2) for Carolina with a goal off a pass from defender Kupono Low in the 86th minute. Two minutes later, Shriver scored his league-leading eighth goal of the season and the eventual game-winner thanks to an assist from midfielder Ciaran O’Brian.
Minnesota had jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the first ten minutes of play when forward Simone Bracalello received a ball from midfielder Kentaro Takada in the fourth minute. Bracalello turned and unleashed a shot that caught RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald by surprise and snuck into the side netting.
Just when it looked as though the RailHawks would respond, Minnesota added another goal in the 10th minute when goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel crushed his clearance over the heads of the Carolina backline. An onrushing forward Pablo Campos beat out the RailHawks defender Paul Hamilton and blasted his shot past Fitzgerald to give Minnesota a two-goal lead.
The RailHawks would pull one back when midfielder Cesar Elizondo played a through ball to a surging midfielder Floyd Franks and took his first touch past the Minnesota backline and was subsequently fouled in the penalty area. Franks stepped up and converted the penalty kick to bring the RailHawks back a goal in the 25th minute.
|New York Cosmos||31||14||9||4||1||10|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||20||14||5||5||4||3|
|Minnesota United FC||20||14||6||2||6||2|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||18||14||5||3||6||-2|
|San Antonio Scorpions||10||14||3||1||10||-9|
|San Antonio Scorpions||20||12||6||2||4||4|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||18||12||5||3||4||5|
|Minnesota United FC||14||12||4||2||6||-5|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||8||12||2||2||8||-14|