Carolina RailHawks News Release – www.carolinarailhawks.com
Saturday, September 12, 2009
CARY, NC — In another series of franchise firsts and with one regular season game left, the Carolina RailHawks (15-7-7, 52 pts) regained sole possession of second place by defeating the Puerto Rico Islanders (14-7-8, 50 pts) for the first time in franchise history, 2-1, while earning their 10th home win of the season.
Gregory Richardson and Andriy Budnyy tallied the goals for Carolina early in the first half setting the pace for a very hard fought battle while Puerto Rico Forward Nick Addlery scored in the second half to fix the result at 2-1.
“This was a very good result against one of the strongest teams in the league and in the CONCACAF region,” said RailHawks coach Martin Rennie. “They rested their players on Thursday to try and win this game and I thought we played really well especially in the first half.”
The RailHawks began the game really strong, not wanting to lose sight of the prize ahead. In the second minute forward Greg Richardson received a ball from Joseph Kabwe and after dribbling the ball in the box he took a shot and beat Puerto Rico keeper Justin Myers.
Carolina continued to attack and Richardson continued to make fodder of Islanders’ defender Cristian Arrieta. In the sixth minute Richardson almost doubled up the score but was expertly challenged by Myers.
Just six minutes later Richardson took another shot on goal that ricocheted off of Andriy Budnyy’s foot for the second goal of the evening, giving the Ukrainain forward his fifth goal of the season.
The RailHawks continued to control the game and went back to the locker rooms up 2-0 at the half.
The second half began with Puerto Rico trying to fight back and were dangerous in several occasions. In the 66th minute Puerto Rico forward Nick Addlery took advantage of a hole in the RailHawks defense to put one behind Eric Reed, who recorded five saves, and deny him the shutout.
Carolina continued to search for more tallies thanks to a superb effort by midfielder Jospeh Kabwe who, on several occasions, broke free from Puerto Rico’s defense and set up several plays.
RailHawks newcomer Matthew Delicâte was on the receiving end of one of Kabwe’s runs but was denied by a great save from Puerto Rico netminder Justin Myers.
“We knew coming in that we were the underdog and we had to throw everything we had at them,” said Carolina midfielder Joseph Kabwe. “That’s what we did and it was a great feeling to beat Puerto Rico.”
Next the RailHawks will continue their quest for the championship in the final regular season game of 2009 when they host the Montreal Impact on Friday, September 18 at 7 p.m.
The playoffs are set to begin the following week with the second place finisher matching up to the seventh, the third to the sixth and so forth. The following week the teams will be re-seeded with the winner of the Commissioner’s Cup entering the playoffs in the semifinal round.