Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 28

It is nearly over with three weeks left in the NASL Fall season as the New York Cosmos can only be caught mathematically by the Tampa Bay Rowdies (seven back) and Spring champion Atlanta Silverbacks (eight back). That means with a dozen games left throughout the league, it could all be over next week if Tampa Bay and Atlanta falter Saturday or New York wins at home Sunday against seventh-place FC Edmonton.


The Cosmos sent an emphatic message that they are indeed the team to beat in the league, avenging their sole loss of the campaign - a 3-0 defeat in Carolina - by thumping the RailHawks, who were hoping to stay in the hunt, by the tune of 4-0. The eight minute mark in each half proved deadly for the RailHawks as they saw Danny Szetela score from 14 yards in the first half on a ball from Diomar Diaz, who went on to score within the six in the 53rd courtesy of a flicked-on Hunter Freeman throw by Paulo Mendes to double the lead. Marcos Senna put it out of reach from the spot with 14 minutes remaining and Stefan Dimitrov found Alessandro Noselli, who drew the earlier penalty, to cap it off in the 90th.

The Rowdies separated from the pack and kept themselves alive in the process with a home win over their Florida rivals. Lucky Mkosana put the hosts in front after 14 minutes on a ball from Etienne Barbara but the Strikers kept their hopes going when Yaikel Perez found the Martin Nunez for the equalizer in the 38th. Luke Mulholland, however, converted a penalty in the 76th after Keith Savage was fouled in the area.

The Silverbacks knocked Minnesota from contention with a 3-1 victory. Mike Randolph set up Ruben Luna three minutes before the break and Danny Barrera doubled the lead on a ball from Sean Moroney int he 74th. From there the two sides exchanged penalties, making it four on the day across the league.

SATURDAY, October 12

Carolina RailHawks 0 :: 4 New York Cosmos
NY: Danny Szetela (Diomar Diaz) 8, Diomar Diaz (Hunter Freeman) 53, Marcos Senna (pen) 76, Alessandro Noselli (Stefan Dimitrov) 90

Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1 :: 2 Tampa Bay Rowdies
TB: Lucky Mkosana (Etienne Barbara) 14, Luke Mulholland (pen) 76
FTL: Martin Nunez (Yaikel Perez) 38

Minnesota United 1 :: 3 Atlanta Silverbacks
ATL: Ruben Luna (Mike Randolph) 42, Danny Barrera (Sean Moroney) 74, Pedro Mendes (pen) 89
MIN: Simone Bracalello (pen) 82

SUNDAY, October 13

FC Edmonton 0 :: 1 San Antonio Scorpions
SA: Tomasz Zahorski (Javier Saavedra) 40
~ EDM: Edson Edward (ejection) 84


In the lone contest of the week, FC Dallas was able to claim a two-goal lead and keep the visiting Fire Reserves, last in the East, off the board. Peter Luccin, with the help of the distracting Walker Zimmerman crashing in on the play, scored off a free kick 23 minutes in and combined with Danny Garcia in the 75th minute to set up Eric Hassli for some insurance.

Chicago Fire Reserves 0 :: 2 FC Dallas Reserves
DAL: Peter Luccin 23, Eric Hassli (Danny Garcia, Peter Luccin) 75

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