When the goals started, they couldn’t stop.
After a scoreless first half, the Carolina RailHawks won a 5-4 goalfest Saturday night against the New York Cosmos.
“A crazy game,” Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said.
In an 11-minute span in the second half, there were five goals – the RailHawks had three for themselves, added an own goal for New York and the Cosmos netted one without Carolina’s help.
New York added one more in the 89th minute to make for a tense four minutes of stoppage time for the 5,593 in attendance at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Devon Sandoval, a forward in his last game on loan from Real Salt Lake, netted two of the scores for Carolina. His 48th minute tally was from the top fof the box, and he scored again in the 66th on a breakaway against an oncoming keeper.
He nearly had three – but his volley was tipped in front of teammate Enzo Martinez who slammed home a 65th minute goal.
“I thought (Sandoval) was outstanding tonight,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke.
Carolina’s first goal was a 58th minute curling free kick from 25 yards out by Leo Osaki.
Three goals came in three minutes.
The Cosmos (10-5-5 W-L-T) scored when Carolina defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe, on loan from New York City FC, accidentally flicked in an own goal in the 64th.
Martinez scored in the 65th for Carolina (8-9-3 W-L-T) and Sandoval did the same in the 66th to make it 4-1.
New York tallied goals in the 69th (Jimmy Ockford off a corner kick), 80th (Mads Stokkelien after scrum in the box) and 89th (Stefan Dimitrov after scrum).
Zack Schilawski, who is with the team on a part-time basis as he prepares for law school, turned and fired in a goal in the 78th after an assist from Tiyi Shipalane.
RailHawks gear up for playoff push: Carolina has brought in a number of new faces to make it into the posteason.
Among them are forward Nacho Novo, a 35-year-old who had a lengthy career playing in Scotland, and former RailHawks captian Austin Da Luz. Da Luz signed with Orlando City FC in the offseason, but the USL Pro season has already concluded.
Forward Zack Schilawski has appeared on the bench in each of the last two games after starting law school at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Watson-Siriboe and Sandoval are in on loan from MLS, but Sandoval’s two-game stint is done.
“They aren’t ruling out me coming back,” Sandoval said. “So we’ll see what happens.”
Sandoval has some Salt Lake obligations with the club’s reserve team over the next 10 days.
“We’ll do anything we can to get Devon back the rest of the season,” Clarke said.
The RailHawks (30 points) are now four points clear of Tampa Bay, but the Rowdies have played just 19 games to Carolina’s 21.
Carolina now only Traffic-owned NASL team: Earlier in the week, Traffic Sports USA – which also owns the NASL – sold the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The RailHawks are now the only NASL team in which Traffic Sports USA is the majority owner.