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Tampa Bay Rowdies strike late against Miami to salvage draw

FORT LAUDERDALE — The first match between Miami and the Rowdies looked every bit like a rivalry in the making.

There was drama and a clash of tempers in front of 1,506 fans Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium.

And thanks to strong goal­keeping from Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Miami held on for a 1-1 draw after playing the final 42 minutes with 10 men.

It was Miami's third straight tie at home, leaving it with three points.

The Rowdies stand at 1-1-1 (four points) heading into their home opener against Austin on Saturday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

"We're disappointed not to win the first one," Miami coach Victor Pastora said. "Caleb was huge. He saved the game for us."

Christian Gomez scored for Miami in the 40th minute but received a red card three minutes into the second half.

The Rowdies tied it in the 82nd minute on Julian Valentin's header off Chad Burt's corner kick.

Miami was outshot 13-7, and Patterson-Sewell recorded six saves, the last in the 90th minute on a volley by Pascal Millien.

Miami took its first lead of the season on Gomez's left-footed strike from 18 yards. He first-timed a flick-on, back-heel pass from Paulo Araujo to beat Rowdies goalkeeper Daryl Sattler at the near post.

Tampa squandered three clear chances before Gomez's goal. Millien shot over the bar after being set up by Stanley Nyazamba. Patterson-Sewell tipped a Millien shot from 18 yards over the bar. And Long Tan missed a chance on Patterson-Sewell with an errant strike.

Gomez received a straight red card in the 48th minute for a tackle from behind on the Rowdies' Aaron Wheeler at midfield.

The teams squared off and had to be separated by the referee.

"I went in wrong, but I don't think it was a straight red," said Gomez, who apologized to Wheeler after the game. "I thought it was a yellow. I'm sorry I let the team down."

This match was the first of four between the teams this season. The club with the most points at the end will be declared the Coastal Cup winner.

Rowdies 1

Miami 1

Tampa Bay Rowdies strike late against Miami to salvage draw 05/02/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 2, 2010 12:20am]

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