Strikers and Rowdies pick up important wins

[NASL: Fall Week 8] The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers' 2-0 win at first-place San Antonio on Friday may not be enough to get them back in the race for the NASL's fall championship, but the result left them tied with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-0 winners over Ottawa on Saturday, in the battle for fourth place in the combined standings.

The spring champion (Minnesota) and fall champion will be joined by the next two teams in the combined standings in the four-team playoffs, so fourth place in the combined standings is the target for the Strikers and Rowdies, who trail Minnesota, San Antonio and the New York Cosmos but now lead Carolina, a 2-0 loser at Atlanta, by two points.

The Strikers controlled their game against San Antonio from the outset, and a goal from forward Fafa Picault sent them on their way just before halftime. Ft. Lauderdale was reduced to 10 men midway through the second half when forward Aly Hassan was shown a straight red card, but that didn't stop the Strikers from getting a second goal on Mark Anderson's free kick in the 79th minute

First-half goals from forward Brian Shriver and midfielder Darel Russell earned the Rowdies their win over Ottawa at TD Place. Second-half goals from midfielder Junior Sandoval and defender Ryan Roushandel gave the Silverbacks their over the RailHawks.

The Cosmos raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first half, but they couldn't hang on, playing to a 2-2 draw with Indy Eleven in front of a sellout crowd of 10,659 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium. With just seconds to go, midfielder Jermaine Johnson chipped the ball over the head of Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck to clinch a share of the points.
 
NASL RESULTS, Week 8:
Friday, Aug. 29
Ft. Lauderdale 2 San Antonio 0
Saturday, Aug. 30
Ottawa 0 Tampa Bay 2
Carolina 0 Atlanta 2
Indy Eleven 2 New York 2

NASL SCHEDULE, Week 8:
Sunday, Aug. 31
4 pm ET
FC Edmonton vs. Minn. United

NASL Fall Standings:
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
19 San Antonio 6-2-1 15/8
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17 Minn. United 5-0-2 16/6
15 Tampa Bay 5-3-0 14/11
12 Ft. Lauderdale 3-3-3 8/10
11 Atlanta 3-3-2 13/11
11 FC Edmonton 3-3-2 10/9
10 New York 2-3-4 9/12
9 Carolina 3-6-0 11/14
8 Indy Eleven 2-5-2 10/18
5 Ottawa 1-5-2 5/12

NASL Combined Standings:
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
37 *Minn. United 11-1-4 32/15
36 San Antonio 11-4-3 28/17
29 New York 8-5-5 23/15
25 Ft. Lauderdale 7-7-4 26/28
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25 Tampa Bay 7-6-4 25/27
23 Carolina 7-9-2 22/29
21 Atlanta 6-8-3 25/31
19 FC Edmonton 5-8-4 21/20
15 Ottawa 4-10-3 19/25
12 Indy Eleven 2-10-6 24/38
*Clinched playoff berth as spring champion.

NASL SCHEDULE, Week 9:
Saturday, Sept. 6
7 pm ET
New York vs. Ft. Lauderdale
7:30 pm ET
Atlanta vs. Indy Eleven
8 pm ET
Minn. United vs. Tampa Bay
8:30 pm ET
San Antonio vs. FC Edmonton
Sunday, Sept. 7
3:00 pm ET
Ottawa vs. Carolina
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