Rowdies Win Fifth Straight at Home with 1-0 Victory over FC Edmonton
The Rowdies used a goal by forward Daniel Antoniuk in the 44th minute to post their third consecutive victory and seventh win in the last eight matches with a 1-0 victory over FC Edmonton Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. The victory, its third 1-0 win over FC Edmonton this season, kept the Rowdies unbeaten in their last six league matches at home, including five consecutive home wins.
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella earned his third straight shutout, his sixth overall this season and the 11th clean sheet of his career. Tampa Bay extended its current shutout streak to more than 315 minutes as the Rowdies have not allowed a goal since the 45th minute at Minnesota on July 12.
The Rowdies had several opportunities in the first half, beginning with a header from forward Daniel Antoniuk after a great cross from forward Mike Ambersley. The header was deflected out of bounds for a Rowdies corner kick. In the 17th minute, Ambersley took a left-footed shot from just outside the box but it missed wide to the right of the goal.
In the 24th minute, forward Matt Clare sent a dangerous cross into the box that forced FC Edmonton goalkeeper John Smits to come off his line and punch the ball away. Just a minute later, midfielder Luke Mulholland fired a right footed shot from about 25 yards out that just sailed over the crossbar.
FC Edmonton had its best chance of the first 45 minutes in the 31st minute as defender Paul Hamilton appeared to beat Tampa Bay goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. But Rowdies midfielder Stuart Campbell saved a goal with a spectacular header off the goal line to force a corner kick.
The Rowdies broke through in the 44th minute as Ambersley sent a perfect cross into the box and Antoniuk finished with a header into the back of the net. The goal was Antoniuk's sixth this season, tied for tops on the team. With the assist, Ambersley now has at least one point in six consecutive matches and leads the team with seven assists in 2012. During the streak, Ambersley has three goals and five assists in the last six games.
The Rowdies continued to put pressure on FC Edmonton after the break. Defender Frankie Sanfilippo nearly gave Tampa Bay its second goal when his header after a long free kick from Mulholland caromed off the post in the 63rd minute. Ambersley also forced tough saves by Smits in both the 66th and 70th minutes on shots from inside the box.
Rowdies - Daniel Antoniuk - 44th minute (assisted by Mike Ambersley)
Rowdies: GK Jeff Attinella, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D JP Rodrigues, D Daniel Scott, D Takuya Yamada, M Stuart Campbell, M Luke Mulholland, M Keith Savage, F Mike Ambersley, F Daniel Antoniuk (Fafa Picault 68'), F Matt Clare (Tsuyoshi Yoshitake 68')
FC Edmonton: GK John Smits, D David Proctor, D Paul Hamilton, D Antonio Rago, D Fabian Vorbe, M Kyle Porter, M Chris Kooy (Captain), M Bryan Arguez, F Serisay Barthelemy (Kenny Caceros 87'), F Shaun Saiko (Michael Cox 76'), F Yashir Pinto (Paul Craig 76')