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 lose to Minnesota 2-0 in Game 1 of NASL final

BLAINE, Minn. — The Rowdies dropped Game 1 of the NASL final 2-0 to defending champion Minnesota on Saturday night.

The Stars scored twice in the second half, including near the end of three minutes of stoppage time, elating the announced crowd of 4,642 at the National Sports Center.

The final series is a two-game, total-goals format, meaning the Rowdies need to win Game 2 to win the championship. The second game is Saturday at Al Lang Field.

Trailing 1-0 after Minnesota's Amani Walker scored in the 67th minute, the Rowdies seemed headed home with minimal damage. But a late Stars corner kick resulted in a scrum and a Martin Nunez goal.

"We just got sloppy," Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella said. "A bad giveaway leads to a corner, and now we've dug ourselves a big hole. It would have been a lot better if that last goal didn't go in, but we're going home, and we're a team that will fight to the end."

Tampa Bay lost only once at home in league play (7-1-7) this season. They started Saturday's game on the road with urgency, peppering Stars goalkeeper Matt VanOekel with strong shots.

Mike Ambersley blasted a near-post shot. Keith Savage got most of a ball to VanOekel's left and followed up with a heavier shot a few minutes later.

Fighting back against a depleted Rowdies defense, Minnesota buried its second-half chances.

Rowdies defender Takuya Yamada, the only player in the league apart from goalies to play every minute in the regular season, didn't play because of a strained knee ligament sustained in Game 2 of the semifinal against Carolina on Oct. 13. His status is day to day, the team said.

Fellow defender Draymond Washington will miss the final with a torn meniscus.

Tampa Bay returns home in search of its second NASL title. The original Rowdies won the 1975 NASL Soccer Bowl championship in its inaugural season.

Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said coming back to win the title starts with reminding his stunned players that the first game, however frustrating, is only halftime.

"It's tough to take," Hill said. "I don't think we deserved to be 2-nil down, but it is what it is, and we've got 90 minutes to try and rectify it next week. We're down, but we're not out, and we'll come back fighting."

The Rowdies can win the title in one of two ways in Game 2: winning by at least three goals in regulation or winning by two goals in regulation and then prevailing in extra time or penalty kicks to break the total-goals tie.

The Rowdies had fan support at the game.

Greg Legas grew up in Bloomington, Minn., and moved to Florida 16 years ago. The St. Pete Beach area resident returned north for the game, donning a Rowdies sweatshirt and scarf, and flying a Rowdies flag from his rental car.

Rowdies lose to Minnesota 2-0 in Game 1 of NASL final 10/20/12 [Last modified: Sunday, October 21, 2012 12:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Bucs' Roberto Aguayo has his backers, no matter how many kicks he misses

    Bucs

    He was perfect Friday, and not just because he didn't have to kick.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) takes a photo with fans following the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  2. Rookie Kendell Beckwith pleased with first Bucs practice

    Bucs

    Bucs rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith is eight months and a week removed from November surgery to repair a torn ACL, so there was a proud sense of accomplishment in getting himself healthy enough to be on the field for the opening practice of training camp Friday.

    Bucs inside linebacker Kendell Beckwith (51) defends tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first day of training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Criticism part of the game for Bucs' Gerald McCoy, who is chasing 'ghosts'

    Bucs

    Who crossed the line with their criticism of Gerald McCoy?

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy jokes with teammates during the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  4. 2-year-old girl shows football team how its done

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG — Football players may dread summer workouts, but not two-year-old Sophie Rosendale. She loves joining her father, St. Petersburg offensive line coach Mike Rosendale, three times a week for the Green Devils summer conditioning. Not only does she shout encouragement like her dad, she also straps on …

    Sophie Rosendale, 2, front, warms up with offensive lineman during practice at St. Petersburg High School, Wednesday. Rosendale is the daughter of offensive line coach Mike Rosendale. "She has been coming to practice for about one year," said Rosendale who has been a coach at the the school for 10 seasons. "She likes to show the players the proper techniques." [Photo/  Mike Rosendale]