Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

Tampa Bay Rowdies beat Fort Lauderdale 3-1 for fourth victory in a row

ST. PETERSBURG — The Florida soccer rivalry between Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale produced a number of records for the home team Wednesday.

First, the match drew 4,710 spectators to Al Lang Field, the largest crowd over the past two seasons to watch a Rowdies game at the converted baseball stadium in downtown St. Petersburg.

Then, forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake scored for the fourth game in a row, the second Tampa Bay player to do so since the team's return in 2010. (Aaron King scored goals in five games in a row last season.)

And, most important, the Rowdies produced their first four-game winning streak since the team's reincarnation.

Yoshitake broke open a 1-all tie in the second half with a long-distance goal, and forward Daniel Antoniuk scored his fifth goal of the season late to lead the Rowdies to a 3-1 victory.

"We have a week and a half off, so we wanted to go into the next few days with a good taste in our mouth," forward Mike Ambersley said. "… We showed a lot of character coming back from a goal down."

For the third time in four games, the Rowdies (7-5-3, 24 points) allowed the opposition to score first in the opening half before rallying. Fort Lauderdale (5-6-4, 19 points) took advantage of a lethargic start from the Rowdies to score in the 19th minute, Andy Herron sliding a rebound inside the far post.

Ambersley tied it in the 30th minute. Forward Fafa Picault centered the ball into the box for Ambersley, who sent a left-footed poke past goalkeeper Matt Glaeser (six saves). In seven games against the Strikers, Ambersley has five goals and has assisted on four other goals.

"It was a great equalizer created by Fafa and excellently finished by Mike," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said.

After the break, the Rowdies rolled. Yoshitake scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season with a dipping volley from 25 yards away in the 67th minute. The goal was set up by a one-touch flick from Ambersley ahead to second-half substitute Antoniuk, who found Yoshitake alone in the middle of the field.

"That finish was exceptional, any standard of the game at any time," Hill said. "… That shows a player in supreme confidence and belief he's going to score every time he shoots."

The Rowdies gained a man advantage in the 79th minute when the Strikers' Emilio Orozco picked up his second yellow card.

Six minutes later, Antoniuk finished a 4-on-3 break for the Rowdies' final score, one-touching Ambersley's pass from the left edge into the open goal.

With the win, the Rowdies remain unbeaten at home against Fort Lauderdale since 2010, and they earn nine points during their now-completed, season-long, three-game homestand.

Comments
Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

ST. PETERSBURG — The increased competition in the IndyCar Series was on display during qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.Two fan favorites (Pippa Mann and 2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe) couldn't crack th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Fans react while watching outside Amalie Arena the Tampa Bay Lightning Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. The Bolts lost 4-0. ALESSANDRA DA PRA | TimesTampa Bay Lightn...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 7 hours ago