Miami Sports Day

NASL RECAP: Armada Fall at Indy: Rowdies Celebrate Anniversary By Beating Cosmos

NEW YORK — The Tampa Bay Rowdies celebrated the club’s 40th anniversary by defeating their long-time rival New York Cosmos, 2-0, on Saturday night before 5,630 fans at Al Lang Stadium.
Corey Hertzog and Darwin Espinal each found the net for Tampa Bay, which used the victory to put itself back in the top four of the NASL’s Combined Standings in the race to The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament. The Rowdies snapped the Cosmos’ eight-game unbeaten streak and dashed their hopes of overtaking Ottawa Fury FC for first place in the Fall Season Standings. The Cosmos have already clinched a berth in The Championship by virtue of winning the Spring Season.
In Indianapolis, local product Zach Steinberger scored twice as Indy Eleven erased a four-game winless streak with a complete performance and a 3-0 win over Jacksonville Armada FC. Defending champion San Antonio finds itself at the bottom of both the Fall Season and Combined Standings after dropping a 1-0 decision to Fall Season leader Ottawa Fury FC at Toyota Field.
On Sunday, Minnesota United heads north of the border to square off with FC Edmonton at Clarke Field. The Loons are currently on a three-game winning streak, while the Eddies have dropped two results in a row.
Indy Eleven 3, Jacksonville Armada FC 0
Playing in front of 9,078 fans at Carroll Stadium, Indy Eleven (6-7-9 25 Combined; 3-3-6, 12 Fall) took a 1-0 lead only 9 minutes into the match when Don Smart latched onto a lead pass through the visiting Jacksonville’s (6-5-10, 23 Combined; 3-2-6, 11 Fall) defense. He touched the ball around goalkeeper David Sierra to Zach Steinberger, a product of nearby Butler University, who tapped the ball into an empty net with his left foot. Steinberger scored his second of the game in the 73rd minute when he took a through pass from Smart and chipped a shot over Sierra. Marvin Ceballos put an exclamation point on Indy’s victory, its third shutout at home this season, when he curled in a right-footed shot from about 18 yards out in the first minute of stoppage time. Jacksonville fell to 0-2-9 on the road this year.
Tampa Bay Rowdies 2, New York Cosmos 0
Tampa Bay (8W-6D-7L, 30 points Combined; 3-2-6, 11 Fall) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute when Georgi Hristov picked up a deflected pass, dribbled to the end line and crossed. An airborne Corey Hertzog reached back with his right foot and flicked a shot past New York (10-9-2, 39 Combined; 5-4-2, 19 Fall) goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer. Darwin Espinal scored a goal as a substitute for the second straight game when he made it 2-0 in the 76th minute, finishing a nifty, multiple pass combination. The loss ended the Cosmos’ eight-game unbeaten streak.
Ottawa Fury FC 1, San Antonio Scorpions 0
After a scoreless first half, Ottawa Fury FC (9-8-4, 35 Combined; 7-3-1, 24 Fall) jumped in front in the 50th minute when Oliver Minatel headed a pass from Paulo Junior past San Antonio (5-6-9, 21 Combined; 2-3-5, 9 Fall) goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes. The Scorpions played more than 50 minutes a man down after defender Zourab Tsiskaridze received his second yellow card and was ejected late in the first half. The victory enabled Ottawa to increase its first-place lead over the Cosmos in the Fall Season Standings and its hold on the automatic berth in The Championship that goes with winning the season title.
Carolina RailHawks 2, Atlanta Silverbacks 0
On Friday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., the Atlanta Silverbacks (6-8-8, 26 Combined; 5-3-4 18 Fall) allowed two quick goals in a span of four minutes as the Carolina RailHawks (6-7-8, 25 Combined; 3-2-6, 11 Fall) snapped a four-game losing streak. Carolina took the lead in the 24th minute on a goal by Nazmi Albadawi and doubled the score when Connor Tobin scored just four minutes later. The victory for the RailHawks was the club’s first since July 18, when they defeated San Antonio. Atlanta played the match without its first-choice goalkeeper, Steward Ceus, who is with the national team of Haiti for World Cup qualifying matches.

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