Advertisement
  1. Sports

Joe Cole's bicycle-kick goal lifts Rowdies

Joe Cole flips to score on a bicycle kick and give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead. “The main thing is the team was excellent,” Cole says.
Joe Cole flips to score on a bicycle kick and give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead. “The main thing is the team was excellent,” Cole says.
Published Jul. 17, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG — A moment of brilliance from Joe Cole, and one that was no slouch from Eric Avila, guided the Rowdies to a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico on Saturday night before an announced crowd of 5,873 at Al Lang Stadium.

Cole scored on a spectacular bicycle kick in the 10th minute, and Avila added a goal 15 minutes later.

Despite being shorthanded on defense, the Rowdies coasted to their first win of the fall season (1-1-1, 4 points). Tampa Bay is 5-3-5 with 20 points in the combined fall and spring seasons.

"I feel sorry for Eric," coach Stuart Campbell said. "That was a fantastic goal. But Joe's will get some coverage, and well deserved."

The night's magical moment happened off a play that is practiced often — well, at least the first part of it is. Darnell King's long throw-in was flicked on by 6-foot-6 Stefan Antonijevic. Cole chested the ball down but away from the goal, just close enough to attempt the bicycle kick.

"It'll be a nice one to watch … but the main thing is the team was excellent tonight," said Cole, referring to the Rowdies' response to a 4-1 loss at Carolina the previous Saturday.

On any other night, Tampa Bay's second goal would have been the highlight. Avila took a pass from Georgi Hristov, then one touch later shot from 20 yards, looping the ball over Puerto Rico goalkeeper David Meves.

"It was a nice goal. It just wasn't as nice as Joe's," Avila said.

Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens came up with a critical stop on Pedro Mendes' attempt a few minutes before halftime.

"The message at halftime was to play as if it was nil-nil and get the next goal," Campbell said. "To put three in the back of the net was pleasing."

Puerto Rico substitute Sydney Rivera had a dangerous flick opportunity in the 75th minute, but it went several feet wide.

Tommy Heinemann scored the third goal in stoppage time.

The Rowdies were without starting defenders Tam Mkandawire and Neill Collins for a second straight game due to injury.

With Walter Ramirez sliding back from midfield, Keith Savage returned from a preseason injury for his first action of the season. He subbed out late for Freddy Adu, who saw his first home action this season.

"To be back on the field was just a blessing," Savage said. "Joe scored an amazing goal. Eric scored an amazing goal, and it was a great night. Against the quality players we have, it took a long time to see the field."

Tampa Bay returns home to face New York on July 23.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Let's just own the pirate thing. [RON BORRESEN  |  Times]
    A ruffled collar? A sash? A bandana? Introducing the football uniform you didn’t realize you needed.
  2. Guard Laquincy Rideau, shooting here against Boston College on Nov. 10, 2019, is second in scoring for USF, averaging at 12.6 points per game. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    USF is going for its fourth straight home victory.
  3. Plant City QB Makenzie Kennedy threw three touchdowns in the Hillsborough County Senior All-star Game at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night. [CHUCK FRYE  |  Special to the Times]
    The East has now won five straight in the senior showcase.
  4. President Donald Trump flips the coin before the start of the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. [JACQUELYN MARTIN  |  AP]
    With President Donald Trump on hand, quarterback Malcolm Perry puts on a record performance for the Midshipmen, rushing for 304 yards and 2 TDs.
  5. Joe Burrow poses with his trophy in New York after joining Billy Cannon (1959) as LSU Heisman winners. [JASON SZENES  |  AP]
    The quarterback dominates the voting in a record landslide.
  6. In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) warms up before the SEC championship game against Georgia, in Atlanta. [JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP]
    Matt Baker put two defensive linemen on his ballot, but neither could top the LSU star quarterback.
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning trainer Tom Mulligan attends to right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) who was injured during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7), center Brayden Point (21) and defenseman Erik Cernak (81) look on. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    Last year’s NHL MVP was injured blocking a shot early in the Lightning’s 5-2 loss Saturday
  8. Bucs travel to Detroit and more sports on the air.
  9. Yesterday• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) celebrates his first quarter touchdown during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida.  [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    With decent blocking, Akers could have been an All-American. Instead his legacy will be saving FSU repeatedly during a rough stretch.
  10. Japan's Yoshitomo Tsutsugo rounds bases after hitting a solo home run off Israel's pitcher Dylan Axelrod during the sixth inning of their second round game of the World Baseball Classic at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) [SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI  |  AP]
    Rays Tales | For one, the lineup is a bit too left-handed. For another, they need more flexibility. Also, more on Sternberg, and rumblings.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement