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Rowdies fall 2-1 on shootout against the Impact

The prospects of salvaging the 1993 American Professional Soccer League season grew bleak for the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night, as the Montreal Impact claimed a 2-1 shootout victory over the Rowdies with 2,458 looking on at Tampa Stadium.

Lloyd Barker scored on Montreal's fourth shootout attempt and Impact goalkeeper Pat Harrington blocked Tampa Bay's final two chances as Montreal edged the Rowdies 3-2 in the shootout.

The Rowdies (2-6) gained three points in the standings to move into fourth place, but last-place Montreal (3-5), which should have been fatigued after Friday night's 2-1 victory over Fort Lauderdale, is only five points behind Tampa Bay.

The game was frustrating from the start for the Rowdies, who controlled play after a goal by Montreal's Grant Needham at 8:30. Tampa Bay outshot Montreal 16-12, but did not score until APSL scoring leader Paul Dougherty knocked in a loose ball with seven minutes left in regulation.

The teams played two scoreless 7{-minute overtimes before moving to a shootout. In an APSL shootout, each team makes five attempts _ an attacker closing in from 35 yards one-on-one against the goalkeeper _ in alternate order.

The Rowdies took a 2-1 lead in the shootout after goalkeeper Bill Andracki stopped Nicola Zanone and Pierre Morice, and Perry Van Der Beck converted. Montreal's Pierre-Richard Thomas tied the shootout at two apiece and Kevin Sloan, who epitomized Tampa Bay's frustration with five shots and no goals during the game, fired wide.

Barker then pushed a shot past Andracki, but the Impact forward appeared to strike the ball after the allotted five seconds had expired. Nevertheless, the goal counted. Harrington blocked Dan Donigan's attempt, but Andracki held, corralling Patrice Ferri's shot. Rowdies defender Tom Reasoner then needed to score in order to force another shootout round, but Harrington batted away his left-footed blast.

Montreal, whose only victory before this weekend came against the Rowdies, survived the fatigue factor of back-to-back games on a Florida road trip.

The Rowdies concluded a three-game homestand and now play six of their next seven games on the road.

Ecuador blanks U.S. team

QUITO, Ecuador _ Ecuador, getting goals from Raul Aviles and Eduardo Hurtado, beat the United States 2-0 and became the first team to qualify for the America Cup quarterfinals.

Aviles scored in the 10th minute and Hurtado in the 35th for Ecuador. Angel Fernandez assisted on both goals.

Ecuador leads Group A with four points, followed by Uruguay with three, Venezuela with one. The United States has no points.

The United States is on the brink of elimination, although it could still qualify by beating Venezuela on Tuesday. The two best third-place teams also will remain in the competition.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.