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 stay in playoff hunt with tie against Minnesota

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies were only too glad to extend Minnesota's late-game misery Wednesday, pulling off a crucial 2-2 draw when Keith Savage scored in the 92nd minute. The teams stayed tied for fourth place and the final playoff spot in the NASL, but the Rowdies have a game in hand.

"It means we're still in it. Every point counts," Savage said.

Minnesota went in on a four-game losing streak, having given up a goal in the final 10 minutes in each of the previous three games. It looked like that wouldn't happen Wednesday despite the Rowdies (9-8-10) playing the last half-hour almost entirely in Minnesota's end and making a pair of offensive-minded substitutions — Carlos Preciado and Kalif Alhassan — and pushing defender Neill Collins up front in the final 20.

In the 86th minute, Tommy Heinemann was clearly pulled down while wrestling for possession in the Minnesota penalty box, but no foul was called. But with five minutes of stoppage time, the Rowdies came through when Savage pounced upon a loose ball served in by Georgi Hristov.

Savage "absolutely" was exhausted, starting for the first time in eight games.

"I was going to go forward there no matter what. I'm just glad (the ball) fell to my feet," he said.

Both Minnesota goals came off rebounds. J.C. Banks' second goal of the year put Minnesota up 2-1 in the 52nd minute after Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens punched away a floating cross. From that innocuous setup, Banks was able to corral the bouncing ball, shield three Tampa Bay defenders and in tight quarters turn for a low right-foot shot.

League-leading scorer Christian Ramirez got his 16th goal for a 1-0 first-half lead after Jeb Brovsky ripped a shot from 30 yards that Pickens could only punch onto the crossbar.

The Rowdies answered just past the half-hour mark when Eric Avila sent in a crisp 20-yard pass from the right side, Heinemann came up with a nifty flick that sent the ball over Minnesota's defense and Hristov caught it on the bounce with his left foot. Hristov leads Tampa Bay with nine goals.

"Fortunately we were able to get away with a point," Rowdies coach Stu Campbell. "We just couldn't get in our rhythm, for whatever reason. Minnesota made it very difficult for us. The big thing for us is the players kept going. The fans deserve a lot of credit. They dragged us over the finish line."

Attendance was announce at 4,804.

With five games remaining, the Rowdies take a Sunday trip to Edmonton, which is second overall.

Rowdies stay in playoff hunt with tie against Minnesota 10/05/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  3. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.
  5. Rays at Twins, 8:10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Twins

    8:10, Target Field, Minnesota

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)