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ROWDIES' WIN DOUBLES DRAMATICS

Two goals in the final minutes turn defeat into a victory.

Last week, the Rowdies had perhaps their most impressive victory of the season, rallying on the road to hand Minnesota its first home loss of the season.

But to keep the momentum going on a two-game homestand, Tampa Bay had to get past a true road warrior Saturday night.

The Rowdies did it in stunning fashion.

Trailing San Antonio 2-1 in the second half, Tampa Bay scored two late goals, including the winner by Tsuyoshi Yoshitake in the final minute, for a 3-2 victory at Al Lang Field.

It was the first time the expansion Scorpions lost on the road this season. San Antonio (6-2-4) was 4-0-2 on the road, a big reason it had moved into first place in the North American Soccer League.

It also was the first time the Rowdies (5-5-3) had beaten San Antonio in three meetings this season, with Saturday the second time playing at home.

In the first half the Scorpions kept finding open spaces in front of the net and had eight shots, six on goal. Tampa Bay goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, a former USF and Countryside High standout who entered with a league-best 49 saves, thwarted most of them.

But one got away.

In the 28th minute, Jonathan Greenfield scored to give the Scorpions a 1-0 lead.

The Rowdies, meanwhile, struggled offensively with three shots in the first half, including two on goal.

But Yoshitake headed in a goal off an assist from Keith Savage in the 39th minute to tie it at 1 at halftime.

That was the first goal San Antonio keeper Daryl Sattler had allowed since May 27. Sattler, who played for Tampa Bay the previous two seasons, saw his league-best goals-against average increase from 0.37 to 0.66.

The second half was a facsimile of the first.

Again, the Scorpions dictated tempo and scored early, in the 53rd minute on a goal by Esteban Bayona.

But the Rowdies have showed a penchant for last-minute panache and this time Luke Mulholland scored in the 88th minute to tie it. Last week, Savage scored in the 87th minute on a strike from the outside to beat Minnesota.

The Rowdies' three goals were the most San Antonio has allowed since April 15, a 4-0 loss to Puerto Rico. It also was the first time the Scorpions had allowed a goal in four games.

Tampa Bay's next game is at home against Minnesota at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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