On a night when many Canadian sports fans were in ecstasy thanks to the heroics of Jose Bautista and/or Sebastian Giovinco, FC Edmonton’s supporters came to grips with the fact that the playoffs became a super long shot.
On Wednesday, the Eddies faced a Carolina RailHawks team that had been their whipping boys over the past two seasons. Emphasis on had. FCE captain Albert Watson was sent off midway through the second half, and the die was cast. The RailHawks won 2-1 thanks to a Nacho Novo goal scored late in the second half.
The Eddies are a point behind Tampa Bay for fourth spot in the NASL overall table — that spot represents the final playoff spot. But the Rowdies have three games left, the Eddies just two. And the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are tied with the Eddies, but have four games left.
Basically, the Eddies now need a ton of help. And it’s super-optimistic to think they’ll get it.
Of course, fate and the schedule maker also conspired against the Eddies. The NASL scheduled the Eddies for a midweek match on Carolina — and last Sunday’s road date against the Cosmo — during the international break. That meant the Eddies went into those games without their leading scorer and assist generator, Lance Laing, who was on duty for Jamaica. The Eddies were also without winger Sainey Nyassi (Gambia), midfielder Hanson Boakai (Canada U23) and starting centre back Mallan Roberts (hamstring injury).
Laing has now missed seven Eddies matches this season. FCE has earned just five of the potential 21 points in those games.
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