photo by FC Edmonton
By FRANCO PANIZO
After enduring a heartbreaking defeat in Week 4, Shaun Saiko put FC Edmonton on his back and carried them to their first win of the season.
Saiko brought Edmonton's losing ways to a screeching halt on Sunday afternoon, scoring a hat-trick that inspired the Canadian club to a 3-0 victory over the Carolina RailHawks at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
All three of Saiko's goals came in the second half, giving the 1,120 fans in attendance something to cheer about after a frustrating opening 45 minutes that saw RailHawks goalkeeper Ray Burse deny the Eddies of the opener three times.
For the RailHawks, the loss adds to their early-season misery. Carolina is now at the bottom of the NASL table at 0-4-3, and has surrendered a league-worst 15 goals this season.
Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 5 action in NASL:
SCORPIONS TOP ROWDIES TO PICK UP FIRST HOME WIN
The San Antonio Scorpions picked up their first home win in franchise history on Saturday, defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-0, in front of a crowd of 9,536 fans at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. Hans Denissen and Aaron Pitchkolan scored thirteen minutes apart in the second half, and that was good enough for San Antonio to pick up its second win of the season. The result dropped Tampa to 2-2-2 on the year.
STARS BLANK SILVERBACKS, STAY UNDEFEATED
Minnesota Stars FC entered the weekend as the only undefeated team team left in NASL, and that did not change after they picked up their second victory of the season. Ernest Tchoupe and Miguel Ibarra scored on each side of halftime to give Minnesota a 2-0 win at home over the Atlanta Silverbacks, who are still winless through the first five games of their season. Stars goalkeeper Matthew VanOekel recorded the cleansheet as 1,692 fans took in the proceedings at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minnesota on Saturday night.
1. Puerto Rico Islanders (3-1-1, 10 points, +6 GD)
2. Minnesota Stars FC (2-0-3, 9 points, +3 GD)
3. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (2-1-3, 9 points, 0 GD)
4. Tampa Bay Rowdies (2-2-2, 8 points, 0 GD)
5. San Antonio Scorpions (2-1-2, 8 points, -1 GD)
6. FC Edmonton (1-3-1, 4 points, 0 GD)
7. Atlanta Silverbacks (0-1-4, 4 points, -2 GD)
8. Carolina RailHawks (0-4-3, 4 points, -6 GD)
What do you make of Edmonton defeating Carolina? More impressed by San Antonio's win, or that they are still drawing high attendance numbers? Surprised the Silverbacks are winless up to this point in the season?
Share your thoughts below.