NASL Week 12: Miami Maintains Its Lead

FC Edmonton vs Indy 11 at Clarke Stadium Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Jun 10 2017,

By EoS Staff

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Miami FC traveled north and west to grab a narrow 1-0 win at FC Edmonton on Saturday and keep its hold on first place in the North American Soccer League’s Spring Season standings.

Jacksonville and San Francisco, both big winners, kept pace while the New York Cosmos failed to grab a victory in the club’s second straight home game.

Miami 1, Edmonton 0

Both teams made long trips to Alberta — Miami from South Florida and the Eddies from New York after a midweek win over the Cosmos.

Miami (7-1-3, 24 points) held on to its five-point lead at the top of the table on a goal by Enzo Rennella in the 80th minute. Rennella, who has five goals this season, poked home a square pass from Stefano Pinho for the game’s only score.

Minutes earlier, the Eddies (3-7-1, 10) appeared to have taken the lead on a header by Tomi Ameobi, but Edmonton was whistled for a foul on the play and the goal was waved off.

Miami plays at intrastate rival Orlando City of Major League Soccer in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, then hosts second-place Jacksonville next Saturday. Miami has the league’s top offense (17 goals for) and top defense (8 goals against).

Jacksonville 4, Indy 1

Jacksonville (5-2-4, 19) crushed winless Indy (0-4-7, 7)  in front of 8,516 fans at Carroll Stadium.

The Armada jumped in front early when forward Derek Gebhard drew a penalty in the third minute. Jack Blake converted to give Jacksonville a lead that only lasted briefly when Eamon Zayed equalized from Nemanja Vukovic‘s corner in the 10th.

Jacksonville took back the lead for good just before halftime on a goal by J.C. Banks. Before the interval, Indy’s fate was sealed as defender Lovel Palmer picked up a red card after an exchange with Blake.

In the second half, a man up, the Armada padded their lead as Banks scored again, in the 50th minute, and Gebhard converted a pass from Jemal Johnson 10 minutes later.

Jacksonville will have to face Miami next Saturday without first-choice goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell, who was shown a red card midway through the second half for handling the ball outside the penalty area.

San Francisco 3, Puerto Rico 1

The Deltas (4-2-5, 17) preserved their perfect away record (3-0-3) in defeating Puerto Rico FC (1-6-4, 7) at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón.

San Francisco jumped on top when Dutch defender Kenny Teijsse scored from distance in the 17th minute. The Canadian international Kyle Bekker doubled San Francisco’s lead on a left-footed shot inside the near post. Puerto Rico cut the lead in half on a goal by Jairo Puerto in the 65th. But Bekker add his second, a blast from 30 yards out.

The Deltas face San Jose of MLS in the Open Cup on Wednesday.

New York 2, North Carolina 2

The Cosmos (4-2-5, 17) and North Carolina (4-4-3, 15) each came away with a point in a matinee at MCU Park in Brooklyn.

New York took the early lead on a goal by Irvin Herrera. The visitors fought back quickly and drew even on a goal by Billy Schuler, who got on the end of a punch-clearance by Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and unleashed a volley from distance. A Lance Laing free kick from 25 yards out put North Carolina in front just before halftime.

The Cosmos managed to score the equalizer, in the 84th minute, when Kalif Alhassan collected the ball in the penalty area, cut inside on his right foot, and curled a chip over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre.

North Carolina hosts Houston of MLS in the Open Cup on Wednesday; while the Cosmos get a much-needed rest before hosting Puerto Rico on Saturday.