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 fall to Atlanta

ST. PETERSBURG — With two goals and an assist against Atlanta on Saturday night, Luke Mulholland matched Aaron King for the best performance by a Rowdies player since the team's re-emergence in 2010.

Related News/Archive

Unfortunately for the Rowdies, Atlanta's Ruben Luna and Pedro Mendes were just as impressive.

Luna and Mendes each scored twice, and Atlanta scored three unanswered goals after halftime to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 victory in front of an announced 3,575 spectators at Al Lang Stadium.

"Atlanta deserved to beat us," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. "We were 3-1 up, yes, but we didn't merit that 3-1.

"We didn't play well in the second period. We didn't play well throughout the game to my expectations, so by being 3-1 up, it hurts more because we should have seen it through."

All three second-half goals by Atlanta (2-0-0) came in the first 25 minutes after the break. Mendes started the comeback in the 53rd minute with a 25-yard blast that eluded the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Andrew Fontein.

Atlanta tied the score at 3 10 minutes later when Luna beat Fontein and defender Jay Needham to a long pass near the edge of the box and slipped a shot into an open goal.

Mendes capped Atlanta's comeback by producing the winner in the 70th minute with a shot from a distance that a diving Fontein couldn't reach.

"That first goal goes in, and then everyone starts to get a little bit apprehensive," Hill said. "Then the second goes in, and now the slide has started, and it's hard to stem that slide when it happens. But with our experience that we have in our side, particularly in the defensive unit, I would expect us to do a better job than what we did (Saturday)."

The Rowdies (1-1-1) wasted the individual effort from Mulholland, who was named to the NASL's all-star team in 2012.

Mulholland assisted on the Rowdies' first goal, in the eighth minute, heading a pass from Amani Walker toward Evans Frimpong, who blasted a one-time volley past Atlanta goalkeeper Joe Nasco.

Atlanta tied the score at 1 in the 22nd minute on a goal from Luna, but Mulholland answered two minutes later. He received a cross-field pass from Georgi Hristov and shot past Nasco.

Mulholland scored his second goal two minutes before halftime after curling a 25-yard free kick inside the near post to give the Rowdies a 3-1 lead.

"Atlanta's first goal in the second half was the game-changer," said Mulholland, who equaled King's performance against Austin on Oct. 1, 2010. "If we score the fourth goal, it would have been game over.

"We came out strong in the first half, but their early second-half goal killed our momentum. The second half was up for grabs after their (first) goal, and they were able to turn the match around."

The Rowdies try to rebound Saturday when they travel to cross-state rival Fort Lauderdale.

Rowdies fall to Atlanta 04/20/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Road to Atlanta: Tell us how you really feel, Jimbo

    College

    Topped out

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21:  Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tackles Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 775042495
  2. Journal: USF gets support on the road

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — Perhaps it was the chance to witness the first USF-Tulane game ever, or an opportunity to frolic in the French Quarter for a weekend. Or both.

    USF running back D'Ernest Johnson (2) stiff-arms Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) on a run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH111
  3. Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-Tulane

    College

    1. Saturday's triumph will do little to fortify USF's strength of schedule, but its strength-of-character quotient might have increased. On the road facing an eclectic offense, the Bulls built a huge lead, then made critical plays in the waning moments after some defensive lapses. In short, they survived. Isn't …

    South Florida defensive end Greg Reaves (41) reacts after a defensive stop against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH107
  4. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  5. Lightning journal: Tighter defense fuels hot start

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — See what happens when you keep the crease clean, limit the traffic in front of G Andrei Vasilevskiy and limit Grade A scoring chances?

    Yanni Gourde, right, gets a late first-period goal that follows a big save by Andrei Vasilevskiy.