CARY, N.C. – The Carolina RailHawks topped the Atlanta Silverbacks 2-0 in front of 4,021 in attendance at WakeMed Soccer Park on Friday.
The win provided a critical confidence boost for the the RailHawks (3-2-6) who had hit a tough stretch of late, losing their previous four matches and conceding three goals in each of those before kicking off against Atlanta (5-3-4).
“It was important to make sure to get three points tonight,” RailHawks head Coach Colin Clarke said.
“We showed belief, we showed character, and the boys have been ready for this one.”
Nazmi Albadawi and captain Connor Tobin posted goals for Carolina, while keeper Akira Fitzgerald earned his first shutout of the season, exacting revenge on the Silverbacks who had beat the RailHawks at home back in the Spring.
Albadawi and Tobin scored four minutes apart, in the 24th and 28th minutes respectively, as the RailHawks carried a 2-0 lead into the half.
Having experienced problems this Fall Season holding on to leads, Carolina reversed that trend by keeping Atlanta off the sheet for the remainder of the match.
Sitting in seventh place, the RailHawks travel to face the San Antonio Scorpions on Wednesday before returning home to host the current NASL Fall Season leader, the Ottawa Fury FC, on Sept. 26.
Notes: Albadawi’s goal was his third in his last two matches played, having scored two on the road against the Cosmos in a 3-2 loss last Sunday…Defender Futty Danso did not play against Atlanta. He departed for Casablanca, Morocco earlier in the week to make himself available for Gambian national team duties in preparation for a qualification match for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) against Cameroon on Sunday. Danso is the second RailHawks player this season to be called into a national team camp. In June, midfielder Chris Nurse was selected for the Guyana National Team to play in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier series against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
CAR: Fitzgerald; Wagner, King, Tobin (C), Low (Coleman, 90th); Hlavaty, Nurse (Anderson, 39th); Shipalane, Albadawi, da Luz; Novo.
ATL: Cochran; McKenzie, Mensing (C), A. Bangura (Hughes, 10th); Kimura, Reed, Paulo, Porter (Okafor, 66th), Burgos; Pedro Mendes (Bangura, 57th), Chavez.
GOALS: CAR: Albadawi, 24th (unassisted), Tobin, 28th (King); ATL: —
CAUTIONS: CAR: Nurse (16th); ATL: Okafor (77th)
EJECTIONS: CAR: –; ATL: —