Kupono Low scored the lone marker for the RailHawks in the 71st minute of play in the first game between the two rival teams since June 29th.
Back then, it was the Silverbacks who earned the Spring title during the final game of the season with a 1-1 tie, a finish that didn’t help the RailHawks who needed a victory to earn the accolade.
The lack of a win took away the opportunity to not only win the Spring Championship, but host the season-ending Soccer Bowl.
Still focused and intent on playing in the NASL’s championship final, Carolina continued where they left off and started the Spring season with a 1-0 home win over FC Edmonton last Saturday.
“We’ve had some exciting matches with Atlanta over the years and it’s turned into a good rivalry,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke said before traveling to kickoff against the Silverbacks.
“I’m looking forward to another great matchup.”
Indeed, it was another tight game between the two clubs, as the RailHawks tried to beat Atlanta for the first time this season, after going undefeated (7-1-0) against their rival during both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Carolina wanted to make a statement early on, but they couldn’t capitalize on a penalty kick opportunity during the 9th minute of play when Atlanta keeper Joe Nasco denied Brian Shriver a chance to post the game’s first goal.
Instead, the Silverbacks took a 1-0 lead into halftime and forced the RailHawks to work harder to score the equalizer.
An Austin da Luz cross traveled to the far post where Tiyi Shipalane played it back across the face of the goal where Low finished the play with a tap-in header during the latter part of the second half.
Carolina continued to press, but couldn’t capitalize on multiple opportunities to earn the win.
The draw still keeps the RailHawks undefeated with valuable points earned while they prepare for their next NASL opponent, the famed New York Cosmos.
One of the most celebrated clubs in American soccer, the Cosmos will travel to WakeMed Soccer Park for the first time ever to kickoff against Carolina.
It will be another match against a marquee-name club that RailHawks fans will have the opportunity to watch while helping to cheer their team to victory during its quest to play in the NASL Soccer Bowl by season’s end.