ROWDIES AND CAROLINA RAILHAWKS PLAY TO 1-1 DRAW
CARY, N.C. (August 1, 2015) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies put an end to their losing streak Saturday night, grinding out a 1-1 draw against the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park. The result keeps Tampa Bay above Carolina in the NASL Combined Standings and snaps a three-match pointless streak.
Tampa Bay held a brief lead in the first half after Georgi Hristov’s second goal of the night, scored in the 29th minute. Carolina equalized just three minutes later through Mark Anderson.
"In the end, it's probably a just result," Rowdies Head Coach Thomas Rongen said. "I'm disappointed that we gave up their goal. ... We had two or three other good scoring opportunities. Our goalkeeper (Kamil Contofalsy), didn't have to make many saves. Their goalkeeper had to come up big a couple of times."
Darnell King made an excellent play in the build-up to Tampa Bay’s goal, flashing his pace and running by both RailHawks defenders before firing a low cross into the heart of the box. Hristov first-timed it into the net to put the Rowdies ahead.
Carolina was the beneficiary of a little bit of chaos just three minutes later with the ball bouncing around in Tampa Bay’s six-yard box before Anderson quickly spun and fired his shot past Contofalsky for the goal.
Tampa Bay had a flurry of chances to break the deadlock and take all three points, but none came to fruition.
Corey Hertzog, celebrating his 25th birthday, had a chance in the 41st minute, but Carolina goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald made one of his three saves on the night, collecting the ball at the near post. In the 67th minute, Hertzog took RailHawks defender Wes Knight on one-on-one and beat him, but his shot was off target into the outside netting.
In the 72nd minute, Maicon Santos put his head on a Hristov corner kick, but directed it just inches wide of the far post.
Tampa Bay's best chance to score the winning goal came in the 78th minute when King took advantage of Carolina playing a high defensive line and sprinted in one-on-one against Fitzgerald. He shot quickly, but Fitzgerald got one quick hand on it to direct it off target and out of danger.
Rowdies: Georgi Hristov - 29th minute (Assisted by Darnell King)
RailHawks: Mark Anderson - 32nd minute
RailHawks: Fitzgerald; Knight, Danso, Tobin (C), Low; Shipalane, Hlavaty (Nurse 82'), da Luz, Anderson (Bracalello 72'); Albadawi; Novo (Nyepon 90')
Rowdies: Čontofalský; King, Agbossoumonde, Mkandawire, Sweat; Guerra, Saragosa (C) (Chavez 87'), Hristov; Shriver, Santos, Hertzog