Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Cosmos Dealt First League Loss by Jacksonville Armada

NEW YORK- FC Edmonton has earned the title of “Road Warriors” after Week 3 of the North American Soccer League’s Fall Season.

The Eddies defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0, at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night, capping off a long road trip that took them to Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio, and back to Florida again. With a roster depleted by injuries and international call-ups, the Eddies drew the first two games before taking all three points at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Across the Florida peninsula, a professional team from Jacksonville hosted the New York Cosmos for the first time since 1982. The Armada FC, which had not scored a goal in its first three matches of the Fall Season, received a second-half tally from Tommy Krizanovic to hand the Cosmos their first league loss of the year. New York, which won the Spring Season title, entered the match unbeaten in 11 league games, but could not solve Jacksonville goalkeeper David Sierra at Community First Park.

Elsewhere, Nacho Novo scored two goals and Akira Fitzgerald made key saves late in the match to preserve Carolina’s 3-2 victory over visiting San Antonio as the RailHawks moved into second place in the standings, one point behind FC Edmonton. At Lockhart Stadium, Walter Ramírez converted a penalty kick in the 90th minute to tie the match as Fort Lauderdale ended Atlanta’s bid for a second straight win.

Jacksonville Armada FC 1, New York Cosmos 0

New York (0W-1D-1L, 1 point), playing its first game in 13 days, rattled two shots off the goalpost in the first half but failed to put the ball past David Sierra. 

Playing in front of 8,167 at Community First Park, Jacksonville (1-0-3, 3) jumped in front in the 54th minute when Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer’s clearance attempt eventually fell to Tommy Krizanovic, who tucked it into the open net. 

Jacksonville played the match without Alhassane Keita (suspended), Pascal Millien (Gold Cup), and Marcos Flores.

With the win, the Armada picked up their first points of the Fall Season (1W-0D-3L NASL Fall, 4-3-7 NASL Combined) and improved their overall home record to 4-1-1.

It also gave them four points in two matches against the Cosmos after a 3-3 draw on the road in June.

“It’s important because the Cosmos are the Cosmos,” said Armada FC head coach Guillermo Hoyos . “They’re one of the best teams, and we’re a new team. It’s important for the whole institution of the Armada. And the three points are huge.”

They’ll have a chance to get three more at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31, when they host Minnesota United FC. Tickets, starting at $10, can be purchased by calling 1.844.2.Armada or by going to armadafc.com.

Carolina RailHawks 3, San Antonio Scorpions 2

Carolina (2-1-1, 7) took the lead in the 22nd minute when Nacho Novo’s long cross from the left flank found a streaking Neil Hlavaty. Hlavaty struck the ball on the full volley and beat Scorpions (1-1-2, 4) goalkeeper Daryl Sattler to give the hosts an early lead. In front of a crowd of 4,180 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., the RailHawks made it 2-0 minutes later when Novo smashed home his own rebound from a scramble in front of the San Antonio goal. 

The Scorpions pulled one back, in the 35th minute, when César Elizondo’s header from a free kick beat Akira Fitzgerald. Novo added a penalty kick in the 67th minute to make it 3-1, but the Scorpions refused to yield. In the 75th minute, Rafael Castillo converted from the spot to again cut the deficit to one goal. A late diving save by Fitzgerald preserved the win for the RailHawks. For San Antonio, Omar Cummings, the league’s leading goalscorer, and Marvin Chávez were not available for the match after sustaining injuries in training during the week. Carolina was without Tiyi Shipalane, who was injured in last week’s match. 

Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2, Atlanta Silverbacks 2

Brazilian youngsters PC and Marlon Freitas of Fort Lauderdale (0-3-0, 3) collaborated on the game’s first goal, with Freitas scoring his third of the year. Atlanta (1-1-1, 4) drew even in the 64th minute when Paul Black’s cross eventually found its way to Jaime Chavez, who converted in style with a bicycle kick from close range. The Silverbacks, who added a handful of players during the break between the Spring and Fall Season, stormed into the lead in the 76th minute on a goal by Pedro Mendes. But a foul by Atlanta’s newly signed defender Kosuke Kimura gave the Strikers a penalty kick in the 90th minute, which Walter Ramírez converted for the equalizer.

FC Edmonton 1, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0

FC Edmonton capped a grueling 10-day, three-game road trip with a match against the Rowdies. After a scoreless first half, the Eddies (2-2-0, 8) took a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute when Tampa Bay’s Stefan Antonijevic scored an own goal during a scramble in front of the goal. The Rowdies pressed desperately for the equalizer, but couldn’t find their way past Eddies goalkeeper Matt VanOekel. Freddy Adu, signed by Tampa Bay (1-0-2, 3) last week, did not dress for the match. 

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