San Francisco, Jacksonville, and Edmonton Climb Table as Miami Extends Lead
Three road teams – San Francisco Deltas, Jacksonville Armada FC, and FC Edmonton – claimed key results over the weekend to climb up the Fall Season Standings, but the gap between Miami and the rest of the field continues to grow.
Playing at home against Puerto Rico FC, Miami won its fifth straight contest thanks to yet another goal from forward Jaime Chávez, while the Deltas left Carroll Stadium with three points after a win over Indy Eleven.
Continue below for a recap of each Week 6 matchup:
NASL Soccer Recap: Miami FC 1, Puerto Rico FC 0
League-leading Miami FC knocked off Puerto Rico FC, 1-0, at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami on Saturday night, extending its advantage in the Fall Season Standings.
Jaime Chávez scored for a fourth straight game to give Alessandro Nesta’s men their fifth consecutive win.
After a quiet first half, the visitors nearly pulled ahead in the 54th minute. Puerto Rico’s target striker Pito Ramos turned and fired a shot off the post and teammate Giuseppe Gentile’s follow-up effort was blasted over the net.
Brazilian forward Stéfano Pinho came inches away from putting Miami up a goal in the 70th minute, but his headed effort from close range fizzled just wide of the post.
In recent weeks, however, Chávez has proved that one chance is all that he needs to change a game, and he did just that in the 74th minute. Blake Smith lofted a cross into the penalty area and the Los Angeles native leapt high above the defense to head home from nine yards out.
NASL Soccer Recap: San Francisco Deltas 2, Indy Eleven 0
The San Francisco Deltas continued their stellar campaign with another strong result on the road, beating Indy Eleven, 2-0, at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday night.
Brazilian winger Pablo Dyego stole the show in the Deltas’ victory, scoring both goals and wowing the crowd with flashy moves throughout the contest.
Outside of an early chance from Ben Speas, Indy simply couldn’t create as many attacking opportunities as their opponent on Saturday. San Francisco went close twice in the span of a minute early in the first half, with Dyego’s long-distance shot rattling the crossbar after teammate Devon Sandoval saw a close-range shot go just wide.
After Sandoval and Brazilian winger Jackson had two more scoring chances go begging, the Deltas finally opened the scoring in the 41st minute. Dyego, who was perpetually involved in San Francisco’s attacking moves, powered a header past Indy goalkeeper Jon Busch thanks to a picture-perfect cross from Michael Stephens.
The Boys in Blue stayed within a goal until Dyego added a second late in the game. In the 87th minute, the Fluminense FC loanee diced up the Indy defense before rounding the corner and putting a cheeky chip past Busch.
NASL Soccer Recap: North Carolina FC 1, FC Edmonton 1
FC Edmonton held host North Carolina FC to a 1-1 draw at Sahlen’s Stadium in Cary, N.C. on Saturday night.
Christian Ibeagha’s early header got North Carolina off to a perfect start, but an unfortunate error from goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre gifted the Eddies a second-half equalizer.
Ibeagha’s opening goal almost never happened because his back line mate, Connor Tobin, nearly scored from a corner kick just moments before. Tiyi Shipalane’s out swinging corner in the 2nd minute was met by Tobin, but the defender’s headed effort was swatted off the line and out of bounds by Eddies goalkeeper Tyson Farago. The ensuing corner kick from the other side, taken by Jamaican international Lance Laing, was taken care of by Ibeagha, whose glancing header left Farago with no chance.
The Eddies came close to evening the score in the 34th minute when Jake Keegan’s header beat Sylvestre but was kept out by the crossbar. A quick counterattack at the other end less than a minute later saw Laing force a save from Farago, whose stop kept the deficit at one goal.
The visitors got their equalizer in the 70th minute, albeit in the most bizarre of ways. The goalscorer from earlier in the game, Ibeagha, calmly headed the ball back to Sylvestre, who had no pressure coming at him from the Eddies’ attack. Instead of picking the ball up, the tall goalkeeper attempted to play the ball with his feet but it passed through his legs and just over the goal line for an unfortunate own goal.
NASL Soccer Recap: New York Cosmos 0, Jacksonville Armada FC 2
Jacksonville Armada FC claimed its second consecutive road win, shutting out the New York Cosmos, 2-0, at MCU Park in Brooklyn on Sunday night.
Ciaran Kilduff, a towering forward signed from Irish side Dundalk FC a few weeks ago, tallied his first NASL goal to help Jacksonville earn the result.
The visitors came out swinging in New York and opened the scoring in the 29thminute. Haitian international Mechack Jerome swung in a free kick from the right wing and put the ball into a dangerous area. Cosmos midfielder Juan Guerra attempted to clear the ball, but inadvertently knocked it into his own net to give Jacksonville a 1-0 lead.
The goal gave Armada FC even more energy, and after Derek Gebhard went close in the 32nd minute, Irish forward Kilduff double Jacksonville’s lead a minute later. New York goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer came out to grab a corner kick, but missed the cross, allowing Kilduff to clean up the loose ball in front of the goal.
Jacksonville nearly scored a third goal shortly before halftime when Kilduff saw his close-range header fall inches wide of the post.
The Cosmos struggled to trouble the Armada FC defense all night, and it was really Jacksonville that was creating the scoring chances. Gebhard’s effort in the 61st minute forced a save from Maurer, as did Jerome’s long-distance strike 10 minutes later.