Soccer MPR — June 24, 2013 at 1:04 am

NASL Weekend Rundown: Rowdies Eliminated From Hosting Soccer Bowl Despite Win

Image Credit: Tampa Bay Rowdies

Image Credit: Tampa Bay Rowdies

MIAMI, Fla - The Carolina RailHawks dramatically returned to the top of the North American Soccer League standings as a pair of goals from top scorer Brian Shriver in the final four minutes sealed a come from behind 3-2 win over visiting Minnesota United FC at WakeMed Soccer Park.

“We deserved to win today, we were the better team,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke.  “It was fun to watch. It was a great game. In the second half we continued to pass the ball well and created more chances and got the goals we needed.”

After trailing 2-1, Shriver leveled for Carolina with a goal off a pass from defender Kupono Low in the 86th minute.  Two minutes later, Shriver struck his league-leading eighth goal of the season and the game-winner off an assist from midfielder Ciaran O’Brian.

Despite a 2-1 win away to the Atlanta Silverbacks, who started the day on top of the table, the Tampa Bay Rowdies were eliminated from the race to host the Soccer Bowl as they can not catch Carolina’s current haul of 19 points to win the NASL spring season.

The Silverbacks fell out of first place in front of 5,711 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park as two penalty kicks early in the second half gave the Rowdies the advantage before Silverbacks midfielder Pablo Cruz answered with a curling free kick to make it 2-1 after 62 minutes. Georgi Hristov and Mike Ambersley struck from the spot for the Rowdies in the 50th and 59th minutes.

“All credit to Atlanta, who really pressed hard, but I thought we came out in the second period and played very brightly,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill.  ”I have to give our players credit for sticking with it and getting three points at the end.  If they give me that much effort every week, I can’t complain.”

Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes said: “If you give a team two goals in any league it’s very difficult to come back from and we have to blame ourselves for the loss.  We might have played well as far as the game is concerned but we didn’t play smart and that is when the mistakes came.”

Hans Denissen scored his second goal of the game in stoppage time to dramatically keep the Soccer Bowl hosting aspirations of the San Antonio Scorpions alive with a 2-1 win over FC Edmonton.

The forward stuck after only five minutes, finding the net for the second game in a row and when it seemed certain Daryl Fordyce’s reply three minutes later had done enough to earn the Canadians a point, Denissen struck to send the home crowd wild.

“He’s playing great football right now,” said Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson of Denissen. “He’s a very creative guy and right now we need goal scorers. Finally he has got it in his head that he has to get the ball on frame and tonight he was dangerous and effective.”

FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller, said: “I’m absolutely devastated. I couldn’t see them scoring and I’m really disappointed to give it away at the end when we’ve created chance after chance and not hit the target.We’ve been in every game and we’ve been fabulous in every game and we were the better team here tonight. Nobody will take this team lightly now.”

Saturday, June 22 – North American Soccer League Week Twelve Results

Carolina RailHawks 3 Minnesota United 2: Game recap 

Atlanta Silverbacks 1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 2: Game recap 

San Antonio Scorpions 2 FC Edmonton 1: Game recap

Bye week: Fort Lauderdale Strikers

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