Rowdies Close 2013 Season with a Loss Against Minnesota
The Tampa Bay Rowdies finished the NASL Season with a 6-4 loss to Minnesota United FC on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. United FC scored twice in the first 45 minutes to give the visitors the lead at the half. Despite scoring three goals in the second half, the Rowdies would give up four more goals of their own to lose the final match of the season.
"Today we made so many poor decisions and ultimately paid the price," said Head Coach Ricky Hill. "At times we looked like we could tie the match but unfortunately our defensive mistakes cost us the match."
Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo was called to action early on as he made a fantastic diving save to his left after a Minnesota attacker smashed a shot on goal. This would be a prelude to what was to come as Minnesota would get the first goal of the night in the 10th minute. After midfielder Omar Daley reached the touchline, he crossed the ball to the far post where he found an open Floyd Franks. The midfielder placed his header perfectly past Restrepo for the 1-0 lead.
United FC continued to apply the pressure and doubled the lead in the 17th minute. This time Daley scored a goal of his own after a fantastic run down the right flank. After beating defender Raphael Cox, he smashed his shot into the back of the Rowdies net to make it 2-0.
The Rowdies fired back with midfielder Luke Mulholland finding space and taking a dangerous shot just over the bar in the 20th minute. Just before the half-hour mark, forward Carl Cort had his first chance of the match as he received a pass from forward Lucky Mkosana just outside the box. The English forward took a right-footed shot, but goalkeeper Mitch Hildenbrandt made a diving save to his right to keep the visiting team up 2-0.
The Rowdies were able to regain possession in the last 15 minutes of the half but they would be unable to produce any dangerous chances on Minnesota’s goal.
"It's never good to go into the half down two goals," commented Hill. "We found ourselves outnumbered on their attacks and we did not make clever choices."
The second half saw the Rowdies score their first goal of the night in the 52nd minute off a Luke Mulholland penalty kick. Mulholland scored four goals in four straight matches, tallying a total of 11 goals on the season.
Minnesota would react with a quick goal just minutes later as Daley scored his second of the night after Restrepo had initially denied forward Pablo Campos in the previous shot. Daley sent a rocket into the top left corner of the net to make it 3-1.
In an action-packed second half, the Rowdies narrowed the lead back to one in the 65th minute. Minnesota defender Aaron Pitchkolan misplayed a cross from the right flank and scored on his own goal.
With the Rowdies looking for the equalizer, Minnesota forward Pablo Campos once again stretched the lead to two in the 71st minute. At that point the match opened up and saw United FC score yet another goal thanks to Daley to make it 5-2. The midfielder netted his third of the night, chipping it over Restrepo who had come off his line to cut down on the incoming player.
Second-half substitute Evans Frimpong cut the lead to two in the 85th minute, firing a strike that Hildenbrandt was unable to control.
"It felt good to score two goals, but in a game where you give up six it doesn't really feel the same," said Frimpong. "We weren't sharp defensively and it showed on the pitch.
With the score 5-3, Restrepo committed a foul in the box in the 90th minute. The Rowdies keeper suffered an injury on the play and he would be substituted for Andrew Fontein. The substitute was unable to deny Campos his second of the night as he smashed the ball into the left side of the net.
Rowdies midfielder Frimpong scored his second of the night in the dying moments of the match to make it 6-4.
Minnesota: Floyd Franks - 10th minute (assisted by Omar Daley)
Minnesota: Omar Daley - 17th minute
Rowdies: Luke Mulholland - 52nd minute (Penalty Kick)
Minnesota: Omar Daley - 60th minute
Rowdies: Aaron Pitchkolan (Own Goal)
Minnesota: Pablo Campos - 71st minute (Assisted by Lucas Rodriguez)
Minnesota: Omar Daley - 83rd minute (Assisted by Mike Ambersley)
Rowdies: Evans Frimpong - 85th minute
Minnesota: Pablo Campos - 90th minute (Penalty Kick)
Rowdies: Evans Frimpong - 90th minute (Assisted by Luke Mulholland)
Rowdies: Restrepo (Fontein 90'); Sanfilippo (Captain), Yamada, Arango, R. Cox; Savage (Hristov 61'), Campbell, Mulholland; Mkosana, Barbara (Frimpong 75'), Cort
Rowdies Give Up Two First-Half Goals in Loss Against Edmonton
The Tampa Bay Rowdies were defeated by FC Edmonton 2-1 on Sunday night at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta. The Eddies scored twice in a span of three minutes to earn the two-goal lead at the end of the first 45 minutes. Midfielder Luke Mulholland cut the lead to one early in the second half but Edmonton would hold on for the 2-1 win.
Despite both teams sharing possession early on, the Rowdies were unable to create any dangerous chances in the final third. FC Edmonton had several dangerous opportunities to score the opening goal, with the first one coming in the 23rd minute. After defender Frankie Sanfilippo had been beat on the left flank, the defender regrouped and was able to clear a shot off the line from midfielder Robert Garrett.
Moments later, Edmonton defender Eddie Edwards flew down the right flank and curled a shot on goal but it went off the post. The rebound was picked up by forward Corey Hertzog, but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
The match would see its first goal of the night in the 34th minute as forward Daryl Fordyce was well placed to find a rebound off of Restrepo and from inside the 6-yard box he would score the opening goal.
Just moments later, it was Garrett’s turn to score as he doubled the Eddies lead with a strike from 25 yards out. The shot curled into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
The Rowdies would be unable to score in the remaining 10 minutes of the half, as Edmonton’s defense had a solid first half, allowing little space for the Rowdies to build up any offensive chances.
Tampa Bay came out strong in the second half, finding their first goal of the night in the 48th minute. Mulholland places his free kick from 35 yards out into the back of the net, scoring his 10th goal of the season. Mulholland has three goals in his last three matches.
With the Rowdies down one, Mulholland nearly equalized the match in the 52nd minute with a shot on goal but goalkeeper John Smits would make the save.
After an initial push by the Rowdies, Edmonton would settle down and almost score their third of the night. Midfielder Chris Nurse found space on the left flank and powered a shot on goal but a diving Restrepo was there to deny the goal.
It was Restrepo who once again made sure the Rowdies would remain just one goal down as he made another terrific save in the 76th minute. Midfielder Neil Hlavaty saw an opportunity to take a shot and as the ball blistered towards goal, the Rowdies goalkeeper dove to his right and made another stop.
As Tampa Bay looked for the goal that would level the match, they struggled to break a tough Edmonton defense. The Eddies had several chances in the final minutes of the match including one shot off the crossbar and another of the right post.
Edmonton: Daryl Fordyce - 34th minute (Assisted by Sadi Jalali)
Rowdies 1-0 Victory over Scorpions Maintains Soccer Bowl Hopes Alive
The Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated the San Antonio Scorpions 1-0 on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. A goal from the penalty spot by midfielder Luke Mulholland gave the Rowdies the three points that keeps them in the run for the NASL Fall Season title.
The first dangerous chance of the match came in the 11th minute, when Scorpions forward Sainey Touray made a run down the right flank and forced Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo to make a save on his shot. Minutes later defender Raphael Cox led a great counter attack but the Scorpions were able to regain control of the ball before the Rowdies could get a shot off.
In the 22nd minute, San Antonio threatened to score once again, as Touray picked up a rebound off a Restrepo save and smashed his shot off the crossbar. The Rowdies would retaliate with forward Lucky Mkosana driving his shot on goal in the 25th minute, only to find a diving Jeremy Vuolo on the other end to make the save.
The Rowdies continued to pressure the Scorpions in the second part of the half, but they would be unable to get any clear chances on goal. During an exciting first half, both teams had a goal disallowed due to offsides.
Tampa Bay continued to apply the pressure in the second half knowing that they needed to win in order to stay in the race for the Fall Season title. A great play by Mkosana led to the first chance of the second half as he backheeled a pass to Mulholland, who took a strike but his attempt went straight to Vuolo.
In what was his last play of the match, midfielder Evans Frimpong flew down the left flank and saw himself just yards away from Vuolo. With time to get a shot off, Frimpong was unable to get his strike on goal as it went wide right.
As the Rowdies inclined the pressure on the Scorpions’ goal, the break came in the 74th minute as defender Greg Janicki brought down Rowdies forward Etienne Barbara in the box. Mulholland capitalized on the penalty pick, placing it on the bottom right corner of the net. The English midfielder netted his ninth goal of the season, now just three away from the league leaders.
The Scorpions pushed for the equalizer in the final 15 minutes, but the Rowdies defense was able to clear away any dangerous chances.
Rowdies: Luke Mulholland - 76th minute (Penalty Kick)
Rowdies: Restrepo; Sanfilippo (Captain), Yamada, Arango, R. Cox; Savage, Campbell (Needham 90'), Mulholland; Mkosana, Barbara (Del Do 82'), Frimpong (Cort 65')
San Antonio: Vuolo; Martin (Bayona 82'), Vucko (Captain), Janicki, DeRoux; Saavedra, Husic (Jennings 68'), Ramirez; Chin (O'Brien 78'), Zahorski, Touray
Rowdies Claim Fourth Consecutive Coastal Cup with 2-1 Win Over Strikers
The Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. After the Rowdies and Strikers finished leveled at one at the half, midfielder Luke Mulholland scored off a penalty kick to give the Rowdies the 2-1 win.
"It's fantastic to have three points," said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. "Once again they haven’t let their heads drop and overall I was delighted that they really wanted to win this game tonight. We dominated the second half in terms of being on the front foot."
The home team opened up the scoring in the 14th minute with a goal by forward Lucky Mkosana, who scored his second goal of the season. After making a fantastic run behind the Strikers defense, he picked up a pass from forward Etienne Barbara and pushed it into the net past goalkeeper Richard Sanchez.
"Etienne did a great job in seeing me make the run," commented Mkosana. "I took my chance in going around the keeper, in order to have an empty net finish. Luckily I was successful and put it in the back of the net."
Both teams created several chances in the first half, with the Strikers looking for the equalizer. After several opportunities, the Strikers would level the match in the 38th minute after a run by forward Yaikel Perez down the right flank led to a pass into the heart of the box. Midfielder Martin Nunez was on the other end to push it into the empty net.
"When the Strikers scored, we felt something like 'Oh no, not again'," explained Mulholland. "Credit to the team for pulling it together and seeing it through in the second half."
The Rowdies entered the second half hungry for the goal that would give them the win against their in-state rivals. It was Mkosana who would have one of the first chances of the half, as he beat a Strikers defender to a misplayed ball. As he entered the box, his shot went wide right and the score remained 1-1.
As the clocked hit the 74th minute, midfielder Keith Savage was brought down by Pecka inside the box and the Rowdies were awarded a penalty kick. Mulholland capitalized on the call and placed his kick in the bottom left corner of the net to make it 2-1.
The match continued to be played mostly in the middle third after the goal, with several players picking up cards in the remaining 15 minutes. With the 2-1 win, the Rowdies won their fourth consecutive Coastal Cup. Tampa Bay did however clinch the cup at home for the first time in four years.
Rowdies: Lucky Mkosana - 14th minute (Assisted by Etienne Barbara)
Ft. Lauderdale: Martin Nunez - 38th minute (Assisted by Yaikel Perez)
Rowdies: Luke Mulholland - 76th minute (Penalty Kick)
Rowdies: Restrepo; Sanfilippo (Captain), Yamada, Arango, R. Cox; Hill (Savage 34'), Campbell, Mulholland; Mkosana (Del Do 83'), Frimpong, Barbara (Cort 66')
Ft. Lauderdale: Sanchez; King, Alvez, Antonijevic, Guerrero; Pecka (C); Restrepo, Nunez, Salazar (Baladez 78'), Paulo Jr (Gonzalez 67'); Perez