Rowdies fall to Scorpions in 2-1 loss
The Rowdies lost for the first time this season at home in a 2-1 loss to the San Antonio Scorpions Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. The loss also snapped Tampa Bay's club-record five-game unbeaten streak at home in the regular season, dating back to last season.
Forward Pablo Campos gave the Scorpions a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute with his second goal of the year, with defender Aaron Pitchkolan getting the assist. The Rowdies tied the match moments later as forward Daniel Antoniuk scored his second of the year with a left-footed strike past Sattler after a pass from forward Mike Ambersley in the 55th minute.
Campos scored in injury time in the second half to give the Scorpions the victory.
"I’m very disappointed because in the balance of play our performance warranted more than a draw, but if you don’t do your jobs and you don’t concentrate for 90 minutes, these things can happen," said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. "To get caught in the 90th minute or whatever it was, that’s really disappointing. The one thing I always emphasize is that we play for 95 minutes plus, whatever it might be, and you concentrate for that amount, and we didn’t. We had a couple lapses tonight that ended up as goals, and that is unacceptable."
Rowdies defender Daniel Scott, making his first career start in place of the injured Andres Arango, had an opportunity in the seventh minute, but his header off a corner kick from midfielder Stuart Campbell went wide.
Tampa Bay came close to scoring in the 35th minute when Ambersley had an opportunity in close, but was denied by Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler.
Ambersley hit the crossbar in the 59th minute with a shot and then Antoniuk almost gave the Rowdies the lead in the 71st minute with a header off a cross from defender Frankie Sanfilippo. But Sattler made a diving save and deflected the ball away to keep the game tied. Hans Denissen nearly gave the Scorpions the advantage again in the 80th minute, making a run down the right side and putting a shot on goal, but Attinella made the stop to deny the Scorpions the lead.
The Scorpions picked up the game winner when Esteban Bayona fired a shot on goal in stoppage time that Attinella initially saved, but Campos put the rebound into the back of the net to give San Antonio the win.
"Losing like that at the end is always tough," said Antoniuk. "You want to try and stay positive and focus on the next game, but still it’s a tough one to lose late like that. In the second half we started gaining momentum and we were all trying to get that second one because we wanted to win. It was tough to let that one in like that at the end."
San Antonio: Pablo Campos - 53rd minute (assisted by Aaron Pitchkolan)
Rowdies: Daniel Antoniuk - 55th minute (assisted by Mike Ambersley)
San Antonio: Pablo Campos - 90+ minute
Rowdies: GK Jeff Attinella, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D JP Rodrigues, D Daniel Scott, D Takuya Yamada, M Stuart Campbell, M Shane Hill (Dan O'Brien 90'), M Keith Savage, F Daniel Antoniuk, F Mike Ambersley, F Tsuyoshi Yoshitake (Matt Clare 72')
San Antonio Scorpions: GK Daryl Sattler, D Fabian Kling, D Ryan Cochrane, D Aaron Pitchkolan, D Matt Gold (Josue Soto 66'), M Kevin Harmse (Captain), M Wes Knight (Esteban Bayona 78'), M Walter Ramirez, M Jonathan Greenfield, F Pablo Campos, F Hans Denissen (Javier Saavedra 85')