NASL 360°: WEEK 3

Apr 11, 2017

History was made at Kezar Stadium in Week 3 of the NASL Spring Season as the San Francisco Deltas recorded their first league win, doing so in commanding fashion over North Carolina FC. Veteran forward Tom Heinemann played a key role in the victory.

Jacksonville Armada FC moved into an early lead atop the Spring Season standings after defeating FC Edmonton in the Eddies’ home opener at Clarke Stadium. Armada FC is the only club to take the maximum points from games played so far.

In the other Saturday night matchups, the New York Cosmos earned a bit of revenge, spoiling Miami FC’s home opener with a victory, despite the hosts controlling much of the play. In Puerto Rico, Indy Eleven earned a road point in a draw with Puerto Rico FC.

 A recap of all the action from Week 3 can be seen below:

San Francisco Deltas 3, North Carolina FC 1

The Deltas fell behind early, but the first-year club rallied to claim their inaugural victory, earning a 3-1 victory over North Carolina FC at Kezar Stadium.

Tiyi Shipalane opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, putting his shot into an empty net after the Deltas nearly cleared the danger. Testing Deltas goalkeeper Romuald Peiser was a theme of the contest, as the Frenchman was forced into five saves on the night.

It was the Deltas, though, that would find the needed goals to claim three points. Tom Heinemann leveled the score just before the halftime whistle from close range after connecting with Cristian Portilla’s cross. San Francisco had to wait for the go-ahead goal, but it came in stunning fashion. Pablo Dyego, who was active throughout the match, fired the ball from distance, and while it may have taken a slight deflection, the shot left North Carolina FC goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre with no chance to stop it in the 82nd minute.

Heinemann completed the win with his second goal after nutmegging a defender and coolly slotting his shot into the net.

Jacksonville Armada FC 1, FC Edmonton 0

Jacksonville recorded its second straight win to start the season and, once again, by a 1-0 scoreline over FC Edmonton.

Facing off against the Eddies at Clarke Stadium, the visitors got on the board early. Jacksonville took a short corner and Zach Steinberger fired a shot on goal that deflected off goalkeeper Chris Konopka’s hands and into the back of the net in the eighth minute. Jacksonville nearly doubled the lead, but Derek Gebhard’s effort in the 84th minute hit the post.

FC Edmonton was inches away from finding its equalizer late in the match, but Adam Straith’s header rattled the crossbar in the 87th minute before Tomi Ameobi sent the rebound wide of the goal.

With the win, Jacksonville now sits atop the NASL standings, while spoiling the Eddies’ home opener.

New York Cosmos 2, Miami FC 0

One week after being comprehensively beaten on its home field by Miami FC, the New York Cosmos exacted revenge on their South Florida counterparts, topping them, 2-0, at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami.

Alessandro Nesta’s side was full of energy, playing in front of 9,515 fans, but they were unable to finish their chances in a performance that was very different than a week ago. Midfielder Kwadwo Poku and forward Stefano Pinho each saw efforts strike the post, and Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was forced into several important saves.

New York did just enough to keep Miami off the scoresheet, and their breakthrough at the other end finally came in the 58th minute. Midfielder Danny Szetela headed home an in-swinging cross from defender Ryan Richter, scoring the Cosmos’ first goal of the 2017 season. Veteran defender Ayoze sealed all three points in stoppage time when he calmly knocked his penalty kick past Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega.

Puerto Rico FC 1, Indy Eleven 1

For the third straight week, Puerto Rico FC and Indy Eleven are each walking away with a point. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón – just seven days after sharing the spoils in a thrilling 3-3 stalemate back in Indianapolis.

Puerto Rico’s towering striker, Pito Ramos, opened the scoring on Saturday night, blasting home a pass from teammate Walter Ramirez in the 19th minute. The first-half strike was Ramos’ second in as many weeks.

Indy had an answer just before halftime, and it came from star striker Eamon Zayed, who scored 15 league goals last season. The Irishman latched onto a pass from strike partner Justin Braun to calmly equalize past Puerto Rico goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg.

In the end, there was nothing to separate the two sides, meaning Puerto Rico and Indy’s bid for their first win will have to wait another week.

Proud Sponsors of Puerto Rico FC