United Fall 1-0 to Carolina RailHawks
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (August, 24, 2013) - Minnesota United FC were unable to end the RailHawks home winning streak, fall 1-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. RailHawks forward Brian Shriver broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, notching his North American Soccer League best, 12th goal of the 2013 campaign.
Minnesota United came into the match looking to end the RailHawks’ 11-game unbeaten streak at WakeMed Soccer Park, but were unable to find their breakthrough moment, thanks in large part to a solid RailHawks backline and strong goalkeeping from Akira Fitzgerald.
Both teams probed the middle third of the field in the first half, looking to find passing lanes to seize upon a tightly packed midfield, but neither could finish in the offensive end. United held a high offensive line for much of the first half, with forward Pablo Campos applying deep pressure on the RailHawks defense, forcing quick play and leading to mistakes.
RailHawks defender Julius James nearly gave away the first goal of the game in the 27th minute. Intense pressure from the United front forced James into a botched backpass leading to a breakaway opportunity for Campos, but RailHawks keeper, Akira Fitzgerald sprung out of his box quickly to save James from embarrassment.
The first half saw a Zack Schilawski goal called back thanks to an offside call in the 19th minute; perhaps the RailHawks best chance in the opening 45 minutes. RailHawks winger, Cesar Elizondo applied constant pressure to the Minnesota backline with darting runs, keeping the United defense on its toes in the first half.
The second half opened up with more high pressure from the Minnesota attackers, continuing to press the RailHawks defense into playing quickly. It was a well-worked buildup play from the midfield that broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute for the RailHawks. Zack Schilawski played a perfectly weighted throughball into the path of Cesar Elizondo on the right edge of Minnesota’s penalty area, Ellizondo proceeded to play a darting pass across the Minnesota goalmouth into the onrushing Brian Shriver who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Minnesota, determined to end the RailHawks streak found themselves in possession of the ball in the RailHawks defensive third for most of the final 20 minutes of the match. Former RailHawks captain, Floyd Franks, subbed into the match in the 71st minute for Calum Mallace, probed the defense with cutting balls, leading to several good chances in a flurry of activity for United.
Once again, Minnesota found themselves with chances to level match, perhaps none better than an 89th minute, in-swinging cross delivered from Michael Reed right in front of goal, but Pablo Campos and Connor Tobin could not stretch far enough to get a touch.
A frustrating result in a match that United controlled for long stretches, but goals have been elusive and the club could not put together the final execution in front of goal. Minnesota drops to 1W-1T-2L for 4 points, while the RailHawks improve to 3W-1T-0L, with 10 points, good for first place in the NASL.
Next up Minnesota face the San Antonio Scorpions, Saturday, August 31 at Toyota Field in San Antonio. Match kicks off at 7:30 CDT. Watch LIVE atwww.MNUnitedFC.com or with fellow fans at the Official Watch Party at Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis.
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