NASL Week 20: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Montreal Impact aren't done yet.

After being absolutely atrocious in the first few months of the season, the Impact is back in the chase for the playoffs, and keeping pace with FC Edmonton.

 FC Edmonton had the good fortune of a Sunday fixture with Atlanta, which the Canadians won 3-0. It was hardly convincing in the first half but Edmonton got back into the win column with a late offensive flurry.

The Carolina Railhawks rebounded against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers to snap a three-game winless streak with a 2-0 win. Etienne Barbara scored his 17 goal of the season with a penalty kick and Matt Watson added a second in front of a crowd of nearly 4,700.

The Puerto Rico Islanders kept pace with league-leading Carolina with a comeback 2-1 victory over FC Tampa Bay. The win keeps the Islanders seven points behind Carolina with six games left to play. FC Tampa keeps the third spot as Fort Lauderdae and Minnesota failed to win and take over the third spot.

Here is a look back at all the results in the NASL over the weekend.

Montreal Impact 2, NSC Minnesota Stars 0

The Montreal Impact sudden and unexpected offensive spark served the home side well with goals from Ryan Pore and team goal-scoring leader Eduardo Sebrango.

Pore jumped on the end of a Mircea Ilcu pass in first-half and beat Joe Warren to give Montreal the halftime advantage. Mignane Diouf's centering pass was the assist for Sebrango's insurance goal in the 83rd minute. After struggling most of the season, the Impact has notched nine goals in three games.

Carolina Railhawks 2, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0

Barbara scored and Pablo Campos provided an assist as two of the league's most dominant offensive players are clicking again.

Barbara combined with Campos with some nifty passing inside the box. The Maltese striker was taken down and converted his own penalty on the half-hour mark. Campos again played provider on Watson's goal in the 57th minute. The loss snapped a four-match unbeaten run for Fort Lauderdale.

Puerto Rico Islanders 2, FC Tampa Bay 1

Mike Amberstley took his goal-scoring total into double digits but Tampa Bay's defense couldn't hold out against the Islanders' attack.

Tampa Bay's opener came in the 30th minute with Ambersley's unassisted strike. The lead lasted only three minutes when Nick Addlery scored and the teams headed into the locker room tied a one. David Foley gave Puerto Rico the lead for good with a goal 15 minutes from time.

FC Edmonton 3, Atlanta Silverbacks 0

For over an hour, it looked as though FC Edmonton would continue its struggles but three goals in 13 minutes turned a cagey, scoreless draw into a rout.

Shaun Saiko opened the scoring in the 63rd minute and Michael Cox added a double with goals in the 71st and 76th minute.

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What did you think of this weekend's games? Is Carolina back in the safe zone? FC Edmonton fans, are you concerned your team could collapse and fall out the playoff picture?

Share your thoughts below.

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4 Responses to NASL Week 20: A Look Back

  1. GCScots says:

    Holy Crap does Matty Horth need to get some service. Atlanta does not look good and nobody can get the ball to their scorer. It’s killing me to watch, but I’m still Silverbacks till I die!

  2. Ivan says:

    Saw the Rowdies/Islanders game on line as I couldn’t make it to the stadium.

    It was a good game, the Islanders are a good side this season. Rowdies did deserve something out of the game, created and missed several glorious chances (Ambersley, King, etc.), but such is the nature of the game.

    I am confident that the Rowdies can get some points out of the 4 upcoming away games and get a home field advantage for the playoffs.

    Realistically, there’s no catching uo w/ the Railhawks and Islanders for 1st and 2nd at this point…

  3. NC Jeff says:

    Thanks for the recap … game obviously had implications for fans of other teams.

    A reversal there would have really opened things up for the Railhawks, who got a couple of awesome saves to keep Ft. L. off the board. I’m still not yet seeing the domination they had the 1st half.

  4. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Turned out to be a great night for the Rowdies/Islander match. Extremely bad weather threatended and kept people away. After a 1/2 hour delay for lightning, there was a drizzle..the kind that’s great if you’re playing…and not terrible if you’re in the stands. Then the weather cleared and it was quite pleasant.

    the game itself was pretty good. Kudos to the Islanders for finishing their limited chances. That little number 9 for the Islanders is fast and slippery. Rowdies right now are lacking a center mid who can act as a fulcrum. We’re starting two d-mids (Hill and Savage). I’d really like to know why we can’t move Yamada back to the center mid and out of the left back spot. Rowdies need his savvy in the middle.

    And, maybe it’s just me, but King seems lazy and not “all in”, the opposite of the Hobbit.