CARY, N.C. – The Carolina RailHawks fell to the league-leading Ottawa Fury FC 3-1 at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday.
Nacho Novo tallied Carolina’s lone goal while former RailHawk Tom Heinemann scored two to go along with a marker from Paolo Junior that powered the Ottawa offense.
With the win, the Fury, the North American Soccer League’s (NASL) top team, continued a nine-match road win streak, while the RailHawks suffered their third straight loss.
“The only thing we can do is work harder and take care of more details,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke said.
“We can’t be afraid of the situation – we’re going to embrace it, meet it head-on and change it.”
The RailHawks came out pressing Ottawa’s defensive line, but failed to capitalize early on.
Heinemann scored his first in the 19th minute, finding space between two RailHawks defenders and beating goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald to put Ottawa ahead 1-0.
The Fury increased its lead to two following Heinemann’s goal in the 34th minute, and added another from Junior during stoppage time near the end of the opening half.
Trailing 3-0 at halftime, Carolina came out attacking in the second.
Novo eventually buried a penalty kick in the 51st minute after being dragged down inside of the box, and cut the Carolina deficit to two goals.
However, the RailHawks’ wouldn’t get any closer for the remainder of the match which was played under very wet conditions.
With the win, Ottawa (10-4-1 Fall, 12-9-4, Combined) maintained its five-point lead in the Fall Season standings, and overtook the New York Cosmos for the top spot in the Combined standings.
The loss diminished Carolina’s (3-3-9 Fall, 6-8-11 Combined) postseason possibilities, eliminating them from Fall League contention.
However, the opportunity to claim the fourth spot in the Combined standings still exists, as the RailHawks currently sit eight points back of that position.
Carolina now prepares for its next match when it faces Jacksonville Aramada FC at WakeMed on Sat. Oct. 10.
CAR: Fitzgerald; Wagner (Da Silva, 46th), King (Osaki, 80th), Tobin, Low; Shipalane, Hlavaty, Albadawi, da Luz; Bracalello (Engel, 46th), Novo
OTT: Peiser; Richter, Alves, Falvey, Trafford; Beckie, Ryan, Ubiparipovic (Albayrak, 85th); Paulo Junior (Haworth, 80th) Heinemann, Minatel (Wiedeman, 73rd)
GOALS: CAR: Novo, 51 (PK); OTT: Heinemann, 19th (unassisted), Heinemann, 33rd (unassisted), Paulo Junior, 45th (unassisted)
CAUTIONS: CAR: Novo (52nd), Tobin (83rd), Novo (90th); OTT: Peiser (70th)
EJECTIONS: CAR: Novo (90th); OTT: —