Fans at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium were treated to an historic night on Saturday as Puerto Rico FC earned its first NASL win, cooling off a Rayo OKC side that entered the weekend riding a six-game unbeaten streak.
Elsewhere on Saturday night, the Tampa Bay Rowdies completed a late comeback to earn a draw against the New York Cosmos, who held a two-goal lead in the second half. Joe Cole scored the equalizer deep in second-half stoppage time from the penalty spot. Indy Eleven was able to bounce back quickly after its first loss of the year, defeating an FC Edmonton side that had lost just once in its last 10 games. Ottawa Fury FC was able to pick up its first win of the Fall Season with a shutout victory over Jacksonville Armada FC, while Minnesota United eased past the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The lone Friday night affair set the tone for a thrilling Week 4. Mexican star Omar Bravo scored on his league debut for the Carolina RailHawks, but it wasn’t enough as the back-and-forth contest with Miami FC ended with each team grabbing a share of the points.
Puerto Rico FC 1, Rayo OKC 0
Puerto Rico FC recorded its first ever league victory, knocking off red-hot Rayo OKC at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, P.R.
Héctor Ramos, a Puerto Rican international, continued his fast start in the Fall Season for Puerto Rico FC (1W-2D-2L, 5 points), scoring his fourth goal of the year in the 53rd minute. Paulo Mendes created the goalscoring opportunity.
The loss ended a six-game unbeaten run for Rayo OKC (2-2-1, 8).
Indy Eleven 1, FC Edmonton 0
Indy Eleven’s 13-game unbeaten streak was snapped a week ago, but the club bounced back quickly and defeated FC Edmonton at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
Dylan Mares’ dangerous free kick found the head of Indy (3-1-1, 10) defender Greg Janicki for the only goal of the game in the 13th minute. It was the second time Janicki scored against FC Edmonton this year after finding the back of the net in a 1-1 draw in the Spring Season.
FC Edmonton (2-1-1, 7) was without its regular center backs – Papé Diakité and Albert Watson – in the loss. It was only the Eddies’ second time suffering a defeat in 11 games.
Tampa Bay Rowdies 2, New York Cosmos 2
The Tampa Bay Rowdies battled back to earn a draw with the New York Cosmos at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Joe Cole struck from the penalty spot six minutes into second-half stoppage time to earn the Rowdies a point. Tampa Bay (1-2-1, 5) had forced an own goal in the 85th minute to set up the equalizer when Ayoze’s attempted goal-line clearance ended up in his own net.
Juan Arango put the Cosmos (3-1-1, 10) ahead with a curling free kick in the 53rd minute. Yasmani Duk scored in the 67th minute in his first start since playing with Bolivia at Copa América. It was his second goal for New York, with both coming against Tampa Bay.
Ottawa Fury FC 2, Jacksonville Armada FC 0
Ottawa Fury FC earned its first win in the Fall Season over Jacksonville Armada FC at Community First Park in Jacksonville, Fla.
Thomas Stewart scored his first goal to give the visitors the lead. Bryan Olivera sprinted through the midfield before playing the ball to an umarked Stewart, who fired past Jacksonville (1W-1D-3L, 4 points) goalkeeper Sean Lewis in the 37th minute.
Carl Haworth added to the advantage for Ottawa (1-0-1, 3) when his low strike from the top of the box found the bottom corner in the 60th minute. It was the forward’s team-leading fourth goal of the year, while Olivera added his second assist of the game.
Minnesota United 3, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1
Minnesota United continued its strong play at home and defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn.
JC Banks scored from distance with a dipping shot that found the bottom corner in the 14th minute. Stefano Pinho raced down the left wing before sending the ball to Ibson, who moved the ball to Banks. Christian Ramirez doubled the lead for Minnesota when his shot from the edge of the area flew past Fort Lauderdale goalkeeper Diego Restrepo in the 23rd minute. It was Ramirez’s league-leading 11th tally for Minnesota (3-0-1, 9).
Paulo Junior pulled one back for Fort Lauderdale (0-1-4, 1) in the 54th minute when he was played through by Bryan Arguez. The Loons, though, would restore their two-goal lead when Ismaila Jome scored on his debut for Minnesota.
Fort Lauderdale finished the game with 10 men after Luis Felipe Fernandes earned a second yellow card with 15 minutes left to play. The Strikers have now lost four league games in a row.
Carolina RailHawks 3, Miami FC 3
The Carolina RailHawks and Miami FC played to a thrilling draw at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., on Friday night.
NASL debutant and Mexican star Omar Bravo scored in the 78th minute to put his team ahead for the first time in the game. He sent a right-footed shot past Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega from a Tiyi Shipalane feed. Miami, though, put a damper on the proceedings. Jaime Chávez found the back of the net for the second time in the game after Dario Cvitanich lofted a ball towards the back post to equalize the score.
Chávez opened the scoring when he flicked a cross from Johnny Borrajo into the net to give Miami FC an early lead in the seventh minute. RailHawks (2-1-1, 7) captain Nazmi Albadawi sent a cross into the box from a set piece later in the half, and Matt Fondy’s shot just crossed the line to equalize the score in the 30th minute.
Miami (1-2-1, 5) would retake the lead just eight minutes later when Richie Ryan took a free kick quickly and looped the ball over the RailHawks’ back line. Kwadwo Poku was able to coral the ball, round Carolina goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, and plant his shot into an empty net. RailHawks forward Brian Shriver had leveled the score at 2-2 when he nodded home a cross from Shipalane to score his team-leading fifth goal of the year.