Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

Rowdies end season with loss

JACKSONVILLE — Two Jacksonville goals scored in one minute late in the match sent the Rowdies to a season-ending 3-2 loss Sunday.

Tampa Bay (9-11-12) led 2-0 after 20 minutes on goals by Martin Vingaard and Keith Savage, and it led 2-1 at 80 minutes. But things started to fall apart for the Rowdies two minutes later.

A Jacksonville corner kick was cleared partially by the Rowdies, but the ball fell to Armada FC midfielder Jemal Johnson 12 yards from the goal. With time to pick his spot, Johnson put a chip shot over the head of goalkeeper Chris Glodack, making his first pro start. Tampa Bay midfielder Walter Ramirez tried to clear the ball off the line but couldn't.

Less than a minute after that, Jacksonville midfielder Derek Gebhard cut in from near the corner flag and found streaking forward Zach Steinberger for the go-ahead goal.

"The two goals that we conceded in about a minute, that's extremely frustrating," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. "The second goal came from a set piece that we should have defended better, and then we just didn't click back on in time for the third goal, and it cost us."

The Rowdies were hindered by some key absences. Tampa Bay's top three offensive players — Joe Cole (family issue), Georgi Hristov (suspension) and Eric Avila (broken leg) — were unavailable, as was right back Darnell King (suspension).

"We made a lot of changes, but I still expected to go out there and get the result we wanted," Campbell said.

The game was the Rowdies' last in the NASL. It moves to the USL next year.

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