Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rowdies defeat San Antonio, stay alive in playoff hunt

ST. PETERSBURG — After Tampa Bay lost two straight to fall dangerously close to dropping out of the fall season title chase, coach Ricky Hill said the Rowdies would need to approach its final four matches like a single-elimination tournament.

To defend its 2012 NASL championship, the Rowdies simply couldn't afford another defeat.

Since Hill's proclamation two weeks ago, the Rowdies have picked up two wins in two tries to stay in the hunt for the Soccer Bowl in Atlanta.

Saturday, the victim was San Antonio. The Rowdies, without leading goal scorer Georgi Hristov, grabbed the only goal on Luke Mulholland's 76th-minute penalty shot for a 1-0 victory in front of 3,237 at Al Lang Stadium.

The second-place Rowdies (5-2-5, 20 points) remain alive for the fall title but still need help. Should the New York Cosmos (24 points) defeat FC Edmonton today at home, New York will clinch the title. A Cosmos loss or draw keeps the Rowdies in striking distance.

"The last couple of weeks, I've been very pleased with the effort of the guys as always," Hill said. "I think as a team, particularly defensively, we've looked a much better unit."

The lone goal was set up by forward Etienne Barbara, who sprinted down the left flank on a breakaway and was fouled in the box by San Antonio defender Greg Janicki. Mulholland was true with the resulting penalty kick for his ninth goal of the year. The penalty conversion was the midfielder's second in two matches.

"The reason we've gotten the results is because as a team we're grinding out wins," Mulholland said. "Good teams can win ugly when they're not playing their best football."

San Antonio (3-8-1, 10 points) had a great chance to score in the 22nd minute when forward Sainey Touray hit the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the 18-yard box after Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo had been pulled out of goal.

"You need a little luck when it comes to these runs at the end of the season," said defender Raphael Cox, who started his second match in a row at left back.

The Rowdies had two goals disallowed. In the 41st minute, Stuart Campbell pushed Lucky Mkosana's shot past keeper Jeremy Vuolo on the back post but was offside. Later, Mulholland intercepted a pass and dribbled toward goal in the 52nd minute, shooting low at the near post from 17 yards. Evans Frimpong knocked the rebound in but was also offside.

Restrepo earned his fourth shutout this season. The match was delayed seven minutes late in the first half after a light tower in the southeast corner of the stadium temporarily went dark.

The Rowdies travel to FC Edmonton on Oct. 27 before closing out the season Nov. 2 at Al Lang against Minnesota United.

Rowdies defeat San Antonio, stay alive in playoff hunt 10/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 19, 2013 11:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.

  3. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  4. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
  5. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]