FC Edmonton kicked off their second game of the 2013 NASL season against the Carolina RailHawks in sunny North Carolina but it didn’t take long for the ‘Hawks to put pressure on the visitors’ backline, as inside the first five minutes they were awarded a series of corner kicks.
FC Edmonton were able to ride the early storm, and have a chance of their own in the 16th minute when forward Daryl Fordyce took a shot that struck the post.
The RailHawks continued to press and earned themselves another series of corner kicks, in which Eddies’ goalkeeper Lance Parker had to come up big to make a number of good saves before the ball rolled harmlessly out of play.
It continued to be an entertaining first half of soccer, as both teams found themselves with chances on either end. Joint forwards Fordyce and Michael Cox combined well together to earn most of the chances for the Eddies.
Both teams came back to the field not willing to settle for another draw in the second week of the season. It took another scramble in the box for Carolina midfielder Austin Da Luz to claim a goal for the home side after pushing it into the net to make it 1-0 Carolina.
In the 59th minute, the Eddies once again hit the woodwork thanks to a shot from Cox, but it was the RailHawks that continued to press. Not long after, Carolina’s forward Brian Shriver sent a header just over the bar, clearly looking for more goals.
The RailHawks doubled their lead over the Eddies in the 78th minute thanks to a free kick from Shriver. It sailed over the wall and into the top corner of Lance Parker’s net to make it 2-0 Carolina.
FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller decided to make some changes to his side to try and find a way back into the game. Seventeen-year-old Canadian Sadi Jalali made his FCE debut for the side. Massimo Mirabelli and Antonio Rago also joined the fray.
Jalali and fellow sub Mirabelli linked up at the beginning of injury time to get the Eddies a goal. Jalali danced around the defense to pass it to Mirabelli who had an open net to shoot at and made no mistake.
Unfortunately, it was too little, too late and the Eddies were handed their first loss of the season with a final result of 2-1 against the RailHawks.
“There are a lot of positives we can take home from tonight,” Coach Miller said after the game. “We’re totally devastated. The players are totally devastated but we now have to regroup as we’ve got Minnesota away from home again. I think if our team plays as well as they have the first two games away from home, we’ll do just fine.”
The team will now head back to Edmonton before playing Minnesota United FC on April 20 in Minneapolis.