Rowdies Unbeaten Streak Comes to an End with 4-3 Loss Against Cosmos
The Tampa Bay Rowdies suffered their first loss of the NASL Fall Season un Sunday night after falling 4-3 to the New York Cosmos at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, NY. The old rivalry opened up once more, with New York taking the three points after scoring three unanswered goals in the second half. Despite the loss, the Rowdies remain in second place in the NASL Standings.
Tampa Bay had the first real chance of the game in the 7th minute when midfielder Luke Mulholland shot his free kick around the Cosmos wall, but his shot was caught by Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Reynish.
The Cosmos kept much of the possession in the initial stages of the first half without creating too many scoring opportunities. The Rowdies opened the scoring the 20th minute against the flow of possession. Midfielder Evans Frimpong crossed a ball to forward Lucky Mkosana, who brought the ball down and after a rebound it fell to Mulholland, who fired his shot into the back of the net.
The lead, however, did not last very long. The Cosmos equalized in the 24th minute off of a Peri Marosevic goal. Cosmos midfielder Marcos Senna played a long free kick into the box, which was headed back across the face of goal. The Cosmos took a shot, which was saved by Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo’s foot, only to fall at Marosevic’s feet to finish.
The game became much more open after the goals, with both teams trading possession, until the Rowdies scored once more in the 34th minute. Forward Georgi Hristov scored his 12th goal of the year, slotting the ball home past a charging Reynish after being played through by Frimpong.
New York almost equalized just two minutes later when forward Stefan Dimitrov placed his header inches wide of Restrepo’s goal. The Rowdies increased their lead in stoppage time of the first half, when forward Lucky Mkosana beat Reynish to a ball at the corner of the 18-yard box and chipped it over the Cosmos keeper.
Marcos Senna almost pulled a goal back for the Cosmos at the end of stoppage time, but a diving Restrepo denied the former Spanish international.
The Cosmos had the first chance of the second half, as a bouncing ball fell to Senna at the top of the box, but his volley went straight to Restrepo. New York piled on the pressure at the beginning of the second half, sending shots just over and wide of the Rowdies’ goal, on top of several corners.
New York had another dangerous chance when Dimitrov curled a shot to the top corner, but it was saved by a flying Restrepo. New York finally pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute after putting an enormous amount of pressure on Tampa Bay. Forward Paulo Mendes was on the receiving end of Rowdies defender Jordan Gafa’s misplaced clearance and placed it past Restrepo from close range.
The Rowdies created a chance in the 78th minute off of a Rowdies corner, as Mulholland crossed the ball in but it went a bit too long. As the ball bounced away, Lucky Mkosana caught up to the ball and played a pass to forward Devin Del Do, whose shot from close range was saved by Reynish.
New York equalized in the 80th minute when forward Diomar Diaz found himself through on goal. He nutmegged a defender before blasting his shot past Restrepo.
It was the experience Cosmos midfielder Senna who put the Cosmos ahead just three minutes later, curling his free kick from just outside the box over the wall and past Restrepo. The 37 year-old’s effort secured the three points for the league leaders.
Tampa Bay began to press for goals as time ran out and almost equalized off of a Luke Mulholland corner kick. Defender Takuya Yamada flicked the cross on goal but it was saved by Reynish. The Rowdies had one last chance to score when they were given a free kick from 25 yards out in the 89th minute. It was taken by Mulholland, but his shot sailed over the top right corner of the net.
Rowdies: Luke Mulholland - 20th minute
New York: Peri Marosevic - 23rd minute
Rowdies: Georgi Hristov - 34th minute (Assisted by Evans Frimpong)
Rowdies: Lucky Mkosana - 45+ minute (Assisted by Devin Del Do)
New York: Paulo Mendes - 63rd minute
New York: Paulo Mendes - 80th minute
New York: Marcos Senna - 82nd minute
New York: Reynish; Freeman, C Mendes (Captain), Roversio, Ayoze; Senna, Szetela, Marosevic (Chirisian 57'), P Mendes (Nane 89'), Diaz; Dimitrov
Rowdies: Restrepo; Sanfilippo (Captain), Needham, Yamada, Gafa; Mulholland, Hill, Frimpong; Del Do (Cox 85'), Mkosana, Hristov (Savage 46')
The undefeated Tampa Bay Rowdies extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches with a convincing 3-1 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg. Two goals from forward Georgi Hristov and one from midfielder Shane Hill lifted the Rowdies to their second straight win at home.
“I am very satisfied with the result tonight as it extends our streak to 10 matches,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “We had to be resilient late in the game when Atlanta threw everything at us. We’re delighted to get three points and our great fans get to go home having enjoyed a fantastic match.”
Tampa Bay was inches away from opening the scoring in the 4th minute when midfielder Luke Mulholland whipped in a corner kick to forward Lucky Mkosana, whose header was cleared off of the line. The reigning Soccer Bowl champions almost broke the deadlock once more in the 5th minute when Evans Frimpong played a low cross across the six yard box to forward Georgi Hristov. His sliding shot went just wide of Atlanta’s goal.
The Rowdies began to emerge as the dominant side as the first half progressed, putting pressure on Atlanta’s goal and controlling possession. Neither side could really challenge the keepers, with both teams firing shots far above the goals on both sides of the pitch.
The Silverbacks were awarded a penalty kick when Rowdies center back Jay Needham tripped up a Silverbacks attacker in the 38th minute. Ruben Luna’s shot was saved by Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. The keeper increased his amount of penalty saves for this season, diving low to his right.
"The penalty save from Diego was the turning point in the match," commented Hristov. "After his save we were able to come out in the second half and get three important goals. Ricky told us that if we didn't get the win tonight we would regret it as we had the majority of the chances."
After the penalty was awarded to Atlanta, the game became much more open. The teams went back and forth attacking each other. The two traded chances for the remainder of the first half although neither team could break the deadlock, thanks to good play from Restrepo and Atlanta goalkeeper Joe Nasco.
The second half started with the Rowdies aiming to score the opening goal, which ended up coming in the 54th minute thanks to the Rowdies leading scorer Hristov. Mulholland initially centered in the ball from the right flank, finding a redirection from forward Devin Del Do at the near post. It was Hristov who would be at the far post to net the opening goal.
Just four minutes later, Mulholland once again led the Rowdies attack to their second goal of the night as his corner kick was headed in by Hristov. The Bulgarian now has 11 goals in the season, inching closer to the NASL scoring leaders. Midfielder Shane Hill extended the lead to 3-0 in the 64th minute after his strike from around 35 yards out went past goalkeeper Joe Nasco, who was unable to get a touch on it.
The Silverback went in search of the goal that would cut the lead, but Restrepo once again showed why he has been one of the top keepers in the league. Atlanta would cut the lead to two in the 75th minute after second-half substitute Horace James received a throw-in from Moroney and volleyed the ball past Restrepo.
"Despite their goal, I am happy that we were able to get another win at home," said Restrepo. "Obviously I am delighted with my save on the penalty kick but it makes it even better when it helps the team win."
The Rowdies would have several opportunities in the final 15 minutes of the match, but Nasco was firm in goal and maintained the Silverbacks down just two goals. Restrepo finished the match with 11 saves, including his low save on the penalty kick in the first half.
Rowdies: Georgi Hristov - 54th minute (Assisted by Devin Del Do)
Rowdies: Georgi Hristov - 57th minute (Assisted by Luke Mulholland)
Rowdies: Shane Hill - 65th minute
Atlanta: Horace James - 75th minute (Assisted by Shane Moroney)
Rowdies: Restrepo; Sanfilippo (Captain) (Scott 45'), Yamada, Needham, Gafa; Mulholland, Hill, Frimpong; Del Do (Savage 77'), Mkosana, Hristov
Rowdies Unbeaten Streak Continues with 2-2 Draw Against RailHawks
The Tampa Bay Rowdies played to a 2-2 draw against the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. The Rowdies would score two second-half goals in the span of three minutes to erase a RailHawks 1-0 lead. However, the home team would find the equalizer in the 90th minute to level the match at 2-2. With the tie, Tampa Bay extended their unbeaten run to nine matches, which includes four wins and five draws.
With forward Lucky Mkosana making his first start for the Rowdies, he would almost score the opening goal in the 5th minute. The forward received a great cross by midfielder Luke Mulholland, but goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald would save his header.
Entering the 16th minute, the visiting team was able to come up big defensively with back-to-back saves off the line by midfielder Stuart Campbell and Mulholland respectively. Although the Rowdies seemed to control more possession of the ball, the RailHawks would exploit the space behind Tampa Bay’s defense.
It was Shipalane who scored the lone goal of the first half after 30 minutes of play. A series of dangerous chances, which included a shot off the crossbar, finished with Shipalane goal, smashing his shot into the bottom left corner of the net. The midfielder has now scored on the Rowdies in three straight matches.
Minutes later, the NASL’s leading goal scorer, Brian Shriver, nearly made it 2-0 as he fired his shot off the left post of Restrepo. Tampa Bay closed the half controlling most of the play, but Carolina would still prove dangerous with a rapid counter attack led by Shipalane.
The Rowdies goalkeeper would make a brilliant save in the 54th minute to keep the deficit at just one goal. Shriver received a long through pass that left him one-on-one with Restrepo, but the goalkeeper was patient and waited for the forward to take the shot. Restrepo would make the save, as Shriver would try to chip him for the goal.
With Mkosana providing pace and movement up front, he nearly found the equalizer in the 56th minute with a backheel finish that was pushed out for a corner kick by Fitzgerald.
Tampa Bay saw the momentum shift their way and in the 72nd minute found the equalizer. Midfielder Evans Frimpong picked up Hristov’s cross and placed his shot in the back of the net. With Hristov leading the Rowdies in assists, Frimpong now has two goals in his last two matches.
The Rowdies were not done yet, as minutes later Mulholland led a perfect counter attack down the right flank, sending in a cross to defender Jay Needham. The Texas native headed the incoming ball into the far post to put the Rowdies up 2-1. The go-ahead goal was Needham's third goal of the 2013 season.
The visiting team had several chances to put the game away, but the offensive pressure applied by Carolina led to the final goal of the match. As the clock hit 90 minutes, Captain Austin Da Luz picked up a rebound from outside the box and slammed his shot into the bottom right corner of the net. The midfielder’s goal leveled the match at 2-2, extending their unbeaten run at home.
Carolina: Tiyi Shipalane - 30th minute
Rowdies: Evans Frimpong - 72nd minute (Assisted by Georgi Hristov)
Rowdies: Jay Needham - 74th minute (Assisted by Luke Mulholland)
The Tampa Bay Rowdies climbed to the top of the NASL Standings on Saturday night after defeating the Carolina RailHawks 3-2 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. An own goal by Carolina's defender Paul Hamilton produced the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. The RailHawks defender redirected a shot by forward Lucky Mkosana, extending the Rowdies unbeaten run to eight matches.
"We were fortunate to come across that late goal," said Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill. "It is great for the fans and it is a morale boost for our players. We created chances and luckily we were able to get the three points."
The match began with the Rowdies pressuring the RailHawks, with forward Etienne Barbara having the first chance of the match. After a lobbed pass by midfielder Luke Mulholland, Barbara controlled the ball with his chest and took a volley on goal but it would be blocked by Carolina’s defense.
With the Rowdies pushing forward, the RailHawks nearly took the lead after forward Brian Shriver took advantage of a mistake by Tampa Bay’s defense. Shriver had an open net, but Restrepo was able to cross the box and make a fantastic save.
In the 12th minute Hristov was brought down in the box and the Rowdies were awarded a penalty kick. The Bulgarian stepped up to take it but this time he smashed it off the left post and it went out of play.
After the penalty kick, the match leveled out until the 34th minute when Carolina scored the first goal of the night. Shipalane received a through ball by Enzo Martinez, beating Needham with his pace and slotting it in the top left corner of the net.
The Rowdies would retaliate with the equalizer in the 42nd minute. Barbara shielded the ball very well until he slotted a perfect pass to an incoming Frimpong. The midfielder powered his shot past Fitzgerald to make it 1-1 in the dying minutes of the half.
"I am here to help the team in any way I can," explained Barbara. "Picking up the assists tonight gave us the three points and we finally could give our fans the win they were waiting for."
The first two chances of the second half came against the Rowdies, but it was Restrepo who made sure none of those opportunities ended up in the net.
A minute later after Restrepo’s one-on-one save on Shipalane, the Rowdies would go ahead after Hristov’s top-shelf goal in the 60th minute. Barbara once again picked up the assist on the Rowdies goal, placing a through ball to the Bulgarian, who smashed it into the top right corner of the net.
The lead wouldn’t last long, as Carolina found the equalizer in the 64th minute, off a Martinez shot that Restrepo could not get in front of.
After the equalizing goal, the Rowdies had several chances to score the game-winning with Hristov and Barbara combining for dangerous chances in the last 25 minutes.
In the dying moments of the match, second-half substitute Lucky Mkosana took a shot from the right flank which took a deflection off defender Paul Hamilton and went into the back of the net.
"We are still on the unbeaten run," commented Hill. "Now we are in first place in the standings and it is very important we come away with a good result next week when we travel to Carolina."
Carolina: Ty Shipalane - 34th minute (Assisted by Enzo Martinez)
Rowdies: Evans Frimpong - 42nd minute (Assisted by Etienne Barbara)
Rowdies: Georgi Hristov - 60th minute (Assisted by Etienne Barbara)
Carolina: Enzo Martinez - 64th minute (Assisted by Brian Shriver)