Soccer MPR — June 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm

NASL Rundown: Eddies can’t hang on to lead; draw with the RailHawks 1-1

Image Credit: FC Edmonton

Image Credit: FC Edmonton

EDMONTON, Ab.  – Coach Colin Miller made some changes to the starting XI Sunday as his Eddies found themselves in a must-win situation against the Carolina RailHawks at Clarke Stadium.

John Smits started between the pipes in place of an injured Lance Parker while Vancouver Whitecaps FC keeper Simon Thomas backed him up on the bench.

In the midfield it was Massimo Mirabelli making a rare start and up front 18-year-old Sadi Jalali made his first start of his young career.

Miller was looking for offense but neither side was able to generate any in the first 45.

Daryl Fordyce sent a deep ball in that Jalali narrowly missed getting a foot on and Lance Laing sent a left-footed ball towards goal which Akira Fitzgerald had trouble with but was able to see it safely over the cross bar in the end.

The teams went into the half deadlocked at 0-0, not enough for the Eddies to stay alive but with plenty more to play for in the second half.

The second frame was highlighted by the appearance of the youngest player in league history. Hanson Boakai subbed on for Massimo Mirabelli in the 67th minute and in the 74th minute, it was Boakai’s teammate who kept his team in the hunt for the championship, at least temporarily.

Michael Cox became the team’s leading scorer when his 20-yard shot beat Fitzgerald to make it 1-0 for the Eddies.

But in the 88th minute, the RailHawks ended any hopes the Eddies had of winning the Spring Season. A bouncing ball found its way to Cesar Elizondo on the left side and he fired a shot passed Smits in goal.

“We are going to have to get some breaks, sometime,” said coach Colin Miller after the match. “Football doesn’t care about you. Really, I couldn’t ask any more from the players. I only counted two chances for them.”

The game ended 1-1 and Carolina ends the week one point back of first place Atlanta with the Eddies officially eliminated from the race.

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