CARY — The Carolina RailHawks extended their unbeaten streak at WakeMed Soccer Park to 14 games with a 2-0 win against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Carolina, Minnesota and Tampa Bay are all tied at 14 points in the North American Soccer League standings.
“We’re excited for a lot of reasons tonight,” RailHawks coach Colin Clarke said. “We were coming off four tough results for different reasons and we had to ask ourselves if we were good enough. I think we answered some of those questions tonight.”
Second half goals from midfielder Breiner Ortiz and forward Brian Ackley snapped Carolina’s four-game winless streak and hold on third place in the table on goal difference.
The best chance for both clubs in the first half came when a clearance fell to the Colombian Ortiz, whose lofted ball found the Jamaican forward Nick Addlery at the back post, however, Strikers goalkeeper Richard Sanchez had little trouble with Addlery’s volley towards goal.
Ortiz got Carolina on the board in the second half with a shot from outside the penalty area that beat the Mexican ’keeper Sanchez in the 63rd minute.
Sixteen minutes later, Strikers defender Stefan Antonijevic fouled Costa Rican midfielder Cesar Elizondo inside the 18-yard box and the referee awards the RailHawks a penalty kick.
Second half substitute Ackley took the penalty shot and scored in the 80th minute for the 2-0 score in favor of Carolina.