The Carolina RailHawks defeated the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions 3-1 Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The RailHawks (4-6-1, 13 pts) nearly scored in the opening minute when forward Devon Sandoval burst down the field and crossed the ball to a Tiyi Shipalane, whose shot went just wide.
Both teams created first-half chances, but it was RailHawks midfielder Nazmi Albadawi who opened the scoring in the 24th minute. After dribbling around several defenders, he blasted a shot into the upper left corner.
The Scorpions (7-3-1, 22) had several chances in the half, but for the most part they were outworked by a hungrier Carolina side that went into halftime ahead 1-0.
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The RailHawks started the second half with the same first-half intensity. Their hard work paid off in the 61st minute when a through ball by Albadawi left Leo Osaki with a one-one-one opportunity with the keeper. Osaki chipped the ball over the on-rushing keeper into the back of the net.
Despite being behind by two goals, the Scorpions came alive midway through the second half and scored their first goal after a scramble in the box in the 73rd minute.
In the final minutes, Enzo Martinez sealed the outcome with a diving header off a rebound from a Sandoval shot.
The RailHawks will host the New York Cosmos, the defending North American Socer League champions, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be the fourth “Kicks for Kids” Night.