NASL: Strikers edge Rowdies for final playoff berth

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers' 1-0 victory at Jacksonville on Sunday moved it past Tampa Bay and supplanted the Rowdies for the fourth and final playoff berth in the NASL. The Rowdies' 2-0 loss at New York had opened the door for the Strikers to overtake their Florida rivals, and that result clinched first place for the Cosmos in the combined standings and the top seed in the playoffs.

NASL Semifinals:
SATURDAY, NOV. 7
New York vs. Fort Lauderdale
SUNDAY, NOV. 8
Ottawa vs. Minn United FC

A late goal by Marlon Freitas gave the Strikers the three points in Jacksonville to overtake the Rowdies, who had lost to the Cosmos on a pair of second-half goals.

Raul, playing in his final regular-season game for the Cosmos opened the scoring in the 54th minute, and four minutes later, fellow former Spanish international Marcos Senna sent Walter Restrepo into the penalty area with a through pass that Restrepo pushed to Sebastian Guenzatti, who made it 2-0.

Ottawa, the fall champion, settled for second place on totals goals behind the Cosmos when it could only tie Atlanta, 1-1.

NASL Week 18, Results:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30
Carolina 3 Indy Eleven 1
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
Atlanta 1 vs. Ottawa 1
Minn. United 2 San Antonio 2
New York 2 Tampa Bay 0
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1
Jacksonville 1 Fort Lauderdale 0

Final NASL Fall Standings:
PTS TEAM W-L-T +/-
45 Ottawa 13-1-6 37-15
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39 Minn. United 11-3-6 39-26
36 New York 10-4-6 31-21
30 Fort Lauderdale 8-6-6 37-27
26 FC Edmonton 7-8-5 25-24
25 Atlanta 6-7-7 24-27
21 Carolina 6-11-3 29-39
20 Tampa Bay 5-10-5 18-28
20 Indy Eleven 5-10-5 23-36
19 San Antonio 4-9-7 30-37
19 Jacksonville 5-11-4 18-31

Final NASL Combined Standings:
PTS TEAM W-L-T +/-
56 New York 15-4-11 49-30
56 Ottawa 15-4-11 42-23
53 Minn. United 14-5-11 54-39
41 Fort Lauderdale 11-11-8 49-40
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39 Tampa Bay 10-11-9 33-37
35 Carolina 9-13-8 44-49
35 FC Edmonton 9-13-8 41-46
33 Atlanta Silverbacks 7-11-12 31-40
33 Indy Eleven 8-13-9 36-48
31 San Antonio 7-13-10 51-52
31 Jacksonville 8-15-7 33-49

NASL Leading Scorers:
Stefano Pinho (Fort Lauderdale) 16
Christian Ramirez (Minnesota) 12
Nacho Novo (Carolina) 11
Omar Cummings (San Antonio) 10
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