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Rowdies clinch playoff berth despite loss to Ottawa

Tampa Bay gets in with Charleston’s loss to Atlanta.
Rowdies fans wave flags ahead of a 2017 game at Al Lang Field. (Times   |   2017)
Rowdies fans wave flags ahead of a 2017 game at Al Lang Field. (Times | 2017)

OTTAWA — The Rowdies clinched a USL Championship playoff spot despite a 1-0 loss at Ottawa on Wednesday night. They got the berth with Charleston’s 3-1 loss to Atlanta.

This is the second time in three seasons the Rowdies have made the postseason. They were eliminated by New York Red Bulls II in extra time in the 2017 Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Rowdies (15-6-8, 53 points) are the fourth Eastern Conference team to clinch a playoff spot, joining New York Red Bulls II, Indy Eleven and Nashville SC. Ten teams from each conference make the playoffs, which begin Oct. 23.

The top six teams in each conference advance directly to the quarterfinals; the other four playoff teams match up in a play-in round. The Rowdies are in fourth place in the East with five matches remaining.

The Rowdies lost to Ottawa on a stoppage-time penalty from Wal Fall.

Ottawa got the opportunity in the 90th minute when Leo Fernandes tripped Chris Mannella just inside the penalty area. Fall then sent goalkeeper John McCarthy the wrong way from 12 yards.

Fall was sent off a minute later after receiving a second yellow card.