RailHawks game had it all
Posted April 15, 2012
For soccer skeptics, Saturday night’s RailHawks game couldn’t have been better, except maybe if the team had won.
The 3,683 fans got perfect weather, eight goals, two lead changes, seven yellow cards, three red cards and even though the game didn’t get to be finished, those that stayed to the near end went home on the heels of a fight.
Looking for their first win of the season the RailHawks went up 2-0 on goals from Mike Palacio and Nick Zimmerman. The crowd was rocking, thunder-sticks, drums and lots of cheers as fans thought the victory was in hand.
But it wasn’t long before Atlanta scored one for themselves. Reinaldo Navia knocked one past keeper Ray Burse and three minutes later in the 42nd minute Raphael Cox tied it up taking it to halftime at 2-2.
The Silverbacks rode momentum into the second half as Willie Hunt headed one in off of a corner for the lead.
Zimmerman’s second goal of the night off of a Kupono Low free kick and back and forth with Jason Garey gave them the equalizer.
A comeback win seemed in the making. In the 77th minute Silverbacks Willie Hunt earned his second yellow of the night taking, getting him the boot, and meaning Atlanta would play the rest of the game a man down.
But that didn’t hold the Silverbacks back, Navia earned his second goal of the night and gave Atlanta their second lead in the 80th minute.
With the clock approaching 90 the RailHawks waited until the bitter end to grab the equalizer, as former UNC-Chapel Hill forward Brian Shriver hit the top of the net for the tie.
Three minutes of stoppage time would determine if there would be a winner. But neither side would get it. Carolina’s Ty Shipalane made a late slide tackle on Atlanta’s Nico Colaluca, Colaluca thought he’d get a foul call and ran over to RailHawks Brian Ackley, who was waiting to throw the ball in, and knocked the ball out of Ackley’s hands. The Cary native wouldn’t stand for that and retaliated, in no time the two were in an all-out brawl.
Carolina head coach Colin Clarke immediately ran over to the two and pushed Ackley away from Colaluca. Colaluca lunged back after Ackley but instead hit one of the officials and knocked him to the ground.
Players and coaches from both sides jumped in, along with the Cary Police, and the fight was over pretty quickly. But unfortunately, so was the game. The officials ended the match immediately even though there was over a minute left in stoppage time.
Ackley and Colaluca both earned red cards meaning they’ll have to sit out during the teams’ next match, which for the RailHawks comes Wednesday at Tampa Bay.
Carolina fans will have to wait until Saturday April 28th for some more home game action, if you haven't checked out the team yet, I suggest you do because you just never know what you’re going to get.