Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rowdies lose to Indy, damaging playoff hopes

ST. PETERSBURG — After a pulsating half-hour that saw the Rowdies keep their playoff hopes afloat, the soccer gods that seemed destined to have them duck out of the playoff picture struck again Wednesday. Visiting Indy Eleven shook off a Rowdies rally for a 3-2 victory when Nicki Paterson drilled in the winning goal in the 85th minute.

Tampa Bay (9-10-11) trails Minnesota and Rayo OKC for the final playoff spot with just two games left. The Rowdies could have created a three-way tie for fourth but could not do so against an Indy team that played a lesser lineup before an announced 5,348 at Al Lang.

"It's out of our hands. We have to rely on another team," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said.

Joe Cole's two-goal performance had rallied Tampa Bay from a 2-0 halftime deficit, and the home team dominated second-half play, but nothing-to-lose Indy capitalized on one of its few second-half chances.

Indy, having already clinched a home playoff game with the spring title, sat several of its starters and in the first half looked like a team with not a care in the world. At the same time the Rowdies came out tentative and paid for it, trailing 2-0 at the half.

"Many of them having their first start, really put their heart into it," said Indy coach Tim Hankinson, who actually inserted some normal starters as subs as their replacements couldn't handle the humidity.

Duke Lacroix, a part-time player, nutmegged a Rowdies defender before slotting a low shot by Matt Pickens in the 15th minute. It was just Lacroix's second goal of the season. Lacroix deserved most of the credit for the second goal, his knifing run creating an easy direct for Jair Reinoso, who was starting just his third game and made it 2-0 at the 31-minute mark.

The signs piled up to make it appear this wasn't Tampa Bay's night, as within the next two minutes it had a Martin Vingaard blast rifle off the crossbar, then Cole beat goalkeeper Keith Cardona only to be called offsides. Replays showed he was off by half a step, maybe less.

Cole created four chances in the final four minutes of the half, scoring again only to be flagged for offsides, though the second infraction was clear. Tampa Bay held possession for two-thirds of the first half.

"It just felt like we were gonna win. This one hurts," midfielder Keith Savage said.

The Rowdies' final home game is Saturday against Ottawa.

Rowdies lose to Indy, damaging playoff hopes 10/19/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane

    Bucs

    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.
  2. Lightning opens day two of draft by taking Russian forwards

    Blogs

    After taking a big defenseman in the first round, the Lightning opened the second day of the NHL Draft by selecting a couple skilled Russian forwards.

  3. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  4. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.