NASL Playoff Rewind: Stars upset Islanders, RailHawks roll past Strikers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Minnesota Stars FC could not have picked a better time to get their first win in Puerto Rico.

The Stars upset the Puerto Rico Islanders, 2-1, in their NASL quarterfinals clash at Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel on Sunday to grab their first victory in Puerto Rico in three years. Minnesota took a 2-0 lead before halftime to silence the 2,002 fans in attendance, but the Islanders responded by late in the second half. David Foley netted in the 79th minute to inspire some confidence but there were no more late-game heroics, keeping the Stars' hopes of repeating as NASL champions alive and pairing them with the regular season champion San Antonio Scorpions in the two-legged semifinals.

In the other quarterfinals match, the Carolina RailHawks rolled pasted the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, 3-1, in front of a crowd of 2,534 at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday. The RailHawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Strikers pulled one back but Carolina made sure there would be no comeback when former Strikers forward Brian Shriver assisted on Ty Shipalane's second goal of the match, setting up a semifinals date with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Those results set up a pair of NASL playoff semifinal clashes between Tampa Bay and Carolina, and San Antonio and Minnesota.

Here is the remaining playoff schedule in NASL:

NASL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

SATURDAY- Tampa Bay Rowdies at Carolina RailHawks 

SATURDAY- San Antonio Scorpions at Minnesota Stars FC

OCT. 13th- Carolina RailHawks at Tampa Bay Rowdies

OCT. 14th- Minnesota Stars FC at San Antonio Scorpions

OCT. 20-21- TBA vs. TBA (NASL Championship Series first leg)

OCT. 26th-28th- TBA vs. TBA (NASL Championship Series second leg)

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What do you think of Minnesota upsetting Puerto Rico? Impressed with Carolina's win over Ft. Lauderdale? Who do you see reaching the NASL Championship Series?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to NASL Playoff Rewind: Stars upset Islanders, RailHawks roll past Strikers

  1. Dave says:

    That crowd at Wake Med Soccer Park would have been bigger if it hadn’t been pissing down rain all day, right up until 7:00 PM. We tailgated in the most miserable conditions ever and only stuck with it because the beer at the pub was a lot more expensive.

    Also, FTL is clearly a different team without Walter Restreppo, who tore his ACL and couldn’t play.

  2. Matt in Tampa says:

    Rowdies and SnailHawks drew in last twe encounters…and Rowdies keeper made some huge saves in Tampa to preserve one of those draws.

    i say the Rowdies scratch by with a 1-0 win in Carolina. We have been a bit uninspired since Yoshataki left. The big Englishman who we just added brings something to the table, however.

  3. WayDownInTexas says:

    I can’t wait until Scorpions play in SA on the 13th. I bet the Tailgate Party and atmosphere will be Awesome!SA has something like 3 supporter groups, which make the games that much more entertaining. DALEEEE SAN ANTOOOONE!

  4. NE REVS says:

    GO SAS GO SAS!!! DO IT DO IT!!!

  5. El paso, tx- soccer love says:

    Bring nasl to el paso texas- we have the fans, the soccer culture, the geographics and lots of land for a soccer stadium. The city of el paso is going through a transformation from downtown to every part of the city. In the 1980s the el paso city council denied a six flags and sea world that went to san antonio, so now the city of el paso is trying to bring anything to make up for the wrong decisions and a nasl team would be perfect. Bring nasl to el paso!!!!!!!!!!

  6. NC Jeff says:

    Matt, considering they’ve drawn all 4 matches this year, I’m going with consistency and predict a draw on Sat., followed by a draw on the 13th (and a “Snailhawks” win in PK’s). So on 10/13, make sure you adjust your DVR ending appropriately, and leave plenty of time for your after-match dinner reservations (to account for the 30min. OT and PK’s). Seriously, good luck … come on up Sat. if you can – it’s supposed to be clear with a high of 77.

  7. AzTeXan says:

    I hear that, bring back a team to Austin too. With FCD, the Dynamo, Scorpions, Aztex and El Paso teams the Texas Championship will carry more clout than the Canadian Championship. We’re coming for that CCL spot Canada!!!!

  8. El paso, tx- soccer love says:

    I don’t want to sound ridiculous but el paso would be the portland of texas. Fc Dallas fans suck, houston is on and off, austin sounds interesting and san antonio is showing a lot of support. in reality what is happening in san antonio with the fans and support it happen in el paso in the 1990s but our local team el paso patriots stadium situation got from bad to worse and and the ownership lost it. Everybody thinks el paso has no history with soccer or even tourist attractions but we do are we are coming back. El paso texas was suppose to be the third major city in texas but our city council hold us back in 1980s.