FORT LAUDERDALE - Luke Mulholland scored his third goal of the season and Alex Dixon his first to lift the Rowdies to a 2-1 victory over Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.
"We were able to stay concentrated the entire 90 minutes," Tampa Bay coach Ricky Hill said. "Taking three points ... is a big accomplishment, and I feel we deserved them."
The three points left Tampa Bay (2-1-1) tied for first with Carolina and Minnesota at seven. (Carolina and Minnesota have played one fewer game.)
Mulholland beat Matt Glaeser from just outside the 18-yard box, the shot hitting the post and going in three minutes before halftime.
Dixon is in his first season with the Rowdies after being loaned by MLS's Houston Dynamo on April 5 (the day before the season opener). The midfielder entered in the 63rd minute for Evans Frimpong, who picked up a yellow card seven minutes into the game. (The teams combined for five yellow cards.)
Dixon, who before Saturday had played only 45 minutes this season, made it 2-0 in the 78th minute when he tapped in a cross from Georgi Hristov.
"It is tremendous for him to pick up this goal," Hill said. "To come into the match in the second half and make the impact he made on the pitch is great for him and for all of the players."
Walter Restrepo scored two minutes later for Fort Lauderdale (0-3-1), which applied pressure for the final 10 minutes. But Tampa Bay held on for its seventh win in nine games against its instate rival.
"We fought hard. We worked hard in the defensive zone," Rowdies midfielder Keith Savage said. "But we got lucky. They were very good in the second half."
Information from the South Florida Sun Sentinel was used in this report.