Unbeaten streak against Strikers ends in 3-1 loss
The Tampa Bay Rowdies dropped a 3-1 loss to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium. The loss ended a nine-game unbeaten streak for Tampa Bay in the series since its return in 2010 and also snapped a string of four consecutive victories for the Rowdies over the Strikers.
Ft. Lauderdale found the back of the net three times in the second half after Tampa Bay had taken a 1-0 lead into halftime.
"I am very disappointed with this loss," said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. "We did some good things in the first half and we talked at halftime about being ready to play after the break. We didn't come out and take the game to them in the second half."
After some sustained pressure and several corner kicks in the first half, the Rowdies finally broke through in the 33rd minute. Midfielder Shane Hill sent a long cross from the right side which eluded a Strikers defender and landed at the feet of forward Luke Mulholland, who buried the shot in the right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. It was Mulholland's first goal of the year.
The Strikers quickly shifted the momentum of the match in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Ft. Lauderdale was awarded a penalty kick when defender Draymond Washington was called for a foul inside the box. Forward Abe Thompson converted the kick to tie the match at 1-1. Just moments later, the ball came to forward Mark Anderson after a corner kick and his shot from outside the box landed into the back post.
The Rowdies continued to put pressure on the Strikers for the next 35 minutes as they worked for the tying goal. But the Strikers put the game away in injury time when midfielder Walter Restrepo scored for a 3-1 final score.
"There is a lot of work to be done this week and we need to find a group that is capable of playing the full 90 minutes," said Hill. "We shot ourselves in the foot on several occasions and that cannot happen."
Rowdies: Luke Mulholland - 33rd minute (assisted by Shane Hill)
Ft. Lauderdale: Abe Thompson - 52nd minute - Penalty kick
Ft. Lauderdale: Mark Anderson - 54th minute (assisted by Lance Laing)
Ft. Lauderdale: Walter Restrepo - 90th+ minute
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers: GK Matt Glaeser, D Lance Laing, D Jack Stewart, D Conor Shanosky, D Nickardo Blake (Emilio Orozco 58'), M Leopoldo Morales, M Pecka, M Walter Restrepo, F Mark Anderson, F Aly Hassan (Andy Herron 59'), F Abe Thompson (Captain) (Alfonso Motagalvan 76')
Rowdies: GK Jeff Attinella, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D Andres Arango, D Takuya Yamada, D Draymond Washington (Matt Clare 81'), M Stuart Campbell, M Shane Hill, M Keith Savage, F Luke Mulholland, F Mike Ambersley, F Daniel Antoniuk (Fafa Picault 62')