CARY, N.C. – The Carolina RailHawks couldn’t come back for a second time and suffered a costly 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday.
Trailing 2-0 within the match’s opening 10 minutes of play, Carolina scrapped throughout the game and eventually evened the score 2-2 between the 48th and 51st minutes on tallies from Zack Schilawski and Enzo Martinez.
Both teams came into the game tied for fourth place in the North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season standings, and for Carolina, also sitting in fourth place in the Combined standings before kickoff, playing to a draw would have been a favorable outcome.
However, Tampa Bay set its eyes on earning a victory against a RailHawks squad that gives up few losses at home.
The Rowdies proceeded to do that by taking a 4-2 lead with six minutes remaining in regulation time.
An own goal by Tampa Bay brought the RailHawks one goal closer late in the game, but it was not enough to help put together another successful comeback attempt before the referee’s final whistle blast sounded.
Unfortunately, for the 3,140 faithful on hand watching under wet conditions, Carolina ended up conceding the home advantage and racked up its second loss in the last three games played on its own pitch.
“We appreciate the fans coming out tonight,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clark said.
“It’s been raining all day. It was a good game with a lot of goals, but we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to get the three points.”
With the loss, Carolina dropped to eighth place (six points) in the Fall Season table while Tampa Bay (nine points) vaulted up to the third spot.
The Rowdies also gained ground on the RailHawks (20 points) in the league’s Combined standings, resting only a point behind Carolina in what is now a wide-open battle for fourth place where the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (21 points) currently sit.
CAR: GK: Goodwin, D: Low, Scott, Tobin, Graye; M: Davidson, Martinez (Zimmerman, 83), Albadawi, Shipalane (Jakson,70), Schilawski; F: Aa. King (Barrera, 74th)
TBR: GK: Pickens; D Sanfilippo, Rodrigues, Mkandawire, Wallace; M: Shriver (Wagner), Russell, Hill, Savage (Morris, 72); F: Walker (Mkosana, 71), Hristov
GOALS: CAR: Schilawski (48th); Martinez (51st); TBR:Walker (3rd); Mkandawire (10th); Mkosana (77th); Russell (84th)
CAUTIONS: CAR: Scott (53); TBR: Russell (87)
EJECTIONS: CAR: — Scott (87); TBR: —