Monday, January 22, 2018
Sports

Rowdies settle for tie against Jacksonville in fall season opener

ST. PETERSBURG — The largest crowd ever for a Rowdies game at Al Lang Stadium saw plenty of action Saturday but, frustratingly for the home fans, not a Tampa Bay victory. The Rowdies tied 1-1 with Jacksonville before a crowd of 7,690.

Tampa Bay controlled play after the Armada took a 12th-minute lead, tying 75 seconds after Jacksonville's goal on a Georgi Hristov goal and dominating the rest of the way.

The Rowdies drew for the fifth time in 11 games despite outshooting Jacksonville 17-7, including 11-2 in shots on target on Armada goalkeeper Sean Lewis.

"Outstanding effort. I thought it was our best all season," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. "We could have had four, five goals tonight."

Jacksonville, which scored only five goals in 10 spring-season games, gave a stellar effort in the first 12 minutes of the fall season opener, and it paid off when defender Mechack Jerome whipped in a cross to Zach Steinberger, who scored for a 1-0 lead.

Tampa Bay reacted quickly. Darnell King's cross from the right curled into the path of Hristov, who scored into an open net 75 seconds after Jacksonville's goal.

Hristov leads the Rowdies with four goals.

The Rowdies (4-2-5 overall) held a 9-2 shot advantage at halftime. Free-kick efforts by Kalif Alhassan and Michael Nanchoff narrowly missed giving them a 2-1 advantage.

They kept up the pressure and appeared to take the lead 10 minutes into the second half, but Eric Avila was a few feet offside on a tremendous setup by Hristov, coming from a Nanchoff shot.

"Our problem is finishing right now," Avila said. "When you don't put away chances, (this is) what happens."

Lewis went high to his left to parry away Alhassan's excellent long-range effort just after the hour mark. Tampa Bay relentlessly pushed forward, with Hristov in 5 yards behind the defense in the 68th minute, but a poor touch cost him possession.

Alhassan shot from 25 yards after sub Tommy Heinemann drew a foul 25 yards out in the 75th minute, but the ball went right to Lewis, who made an Armada-record 11 saves.

For the first time since October 2014, Rowdies defender Tam Mkandawire missed time in an NASL contest. He was replaced at halftime by Stefan Antonijevic, who made a sliding clearance on one of Jacksonville's rare second-half forays. But he got banged up in the 77th minute.

Campbell was disconsolate about Mkandawire, saying a serious injury must have forced him out. But he was big on Saturday's turnout. "Fantastic atmosphere. Best I can remember since I've been here," he said.

The Rowdies were without midfielder Joe Cole, who was back in his native England for a family situation, the team said. Cole had started every game since joining the Rowdies halfway through the 10-game spring season.

     
     
Comments
Super Bowl LII preview: First look at New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Super Bowl LII preview: First look at New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Remember when the Bills were 3-1 and in first place in the AFC East? And when the Patriots were 2-2 and allowing 32 points per game? Weird, right?The Bills part, yes. The Patriots part, no.New England had done that before. Four other times in the Bil...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

PHILADELPHIA — Confetti filled the air, fireworks erupted overhead, and fans sang "Fly, Eagles Fly!" No one dared head for the exits. There was too much to celebrate.The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.The makeshift podium hadn’t taken space on Ph...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Updated: 3 hours ago
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sports in brief

Sports in brief

hockeyU.s. men’s olympic Gm, key program builder dies suddenlyLongtime USA Hockey executive and U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team general manager Jim Johannson died unexpectedly Sunday at age 53, shocking the sport less than three weeks before the start...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Healthy Keys back in Aussie quarters

Healthy Keys back in Aussie quarters

MELBOURNE, Australia — Madison Keys continued her strong run through the Australian Open draw, returning to the quarterfinals here for the first time in three years with today’s 6-3, 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia.The U.S. Open finalist is yet to drop ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballNorth Carolina at Virginia Tech7 p.m.ESPNOhio State at Maryland7 p.m.ESPN2Iowa State at Texas7 p.m.ESPNUMaryland at Indiana7 p.m.FS1Holy Cross at American7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: LSU at Texas A&M7 p.m.SECNebraska at Ohio State8 p.m.Bi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Golden Knights are giving Vegas a great odds-beating story in their first year.The expansion team has the whole league playing catchup.James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault scored to help Vegas beat the Hurricanes 5-1 on Sunday and...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Greased poles don’t ward off Philly fans

PHILADELPHIA — Thousands of Eagles fans took to the streets to celebrate after their team’s 38-7 win over the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles will be playing in their first Super Bowl since they lost to this year’s AFC champions the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago