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 salvage draw to remain in tight playoff race

ST. PETERSBURG — It wasn't the worst result, but it certainly could have been better for the Rowdies, who squandered a halftime lead in a 1-1 draw to visiting Miami on Saturday before 6,912 at Al Lang Stadium. The teams are now in a three-way tie for the fourth and final NASL playoff spot with Minnesota, which lost its fourth in a row on a late goal to Jacksonville, 1-0.

Tampa Bay (9-8-9, 36 points) has six games remaining, one more than both Minnesota (10-11-6, 36) and Miami (9-9-9, 36).

Eric Avila put the Rowdies ahead with his goal in the 31st minute but Miami defender Rhett Bernstein tied it in the 74th.

"Very tough draw," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. "They had two clear-cut scoring chances and they scored one goal."

Tampa Bay held a 15-7 shot advantage, and looked to be benefiting from a Miami team on two days' rest and playing its sixth match in 21 days. Avila put Tampa Bay on top when he controlled a long cross from Georgi Hristov, switched the ball on to his less-favored left foot and pounded it inside the right post.

"In training I've been taking more shots with my left. I took a touch and everyone was shifting over to the right, and it just opened up for me," Avila said.

Tampa Bay had quality combinations the rest of the half and it seemed the better side. But after the break Miami controlled the first dozen minutes and could have certainly claimed an equalizing goal but for Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Miami's Enzo Rennella found himself in alone on the left side of goal and tried to slot the ball to the right post, but the Pickens managed to stick out his leg just at the last moment.

Miami's equalizer came when the ball was headed into the 6-yard box, where Bernstein was sandwiched by two Rowdies but managed to get to the ball first, touch it off to his right and then rifle it into the goal.

Three minutes after entering as a sub, midfielder Keith Savage served up a clever chip to Carlos Preciado, who himself chipped the ball over goalkeeper Daniel Vega but two Miami players got to the goal line for the clearance.

Despite letting two points slip away, the Rowdies — unbeaten in six straight — are still in a good spot if they win their next game. Minnesota visits Al Lang on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

"That's good. I wouldn't have it any other way," Campbell said of his team's quick turnaround.

Rowdies salvage draw to remain in tight playoff race 10/01/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2016 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  4. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.