Thursday, 29 October 2015

Rowdies vs. Carolina Railhawks

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (October 24, 2015) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies took control of their own destiny in the playoff race Saturday night with an edgy 1-0 win over the Carolina RailHawks in front of 6,973 fans at Al Lang Stadium.
Tampa Bay’s win, paired with a 2-1 Indy Eleven win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers means that if the Rowdies win their season finale in New York next week, the Rowdies will qualify for The Championship, the North American Soccer League’s four-team playoffs. The Rowdies now lead the Strikers by one point in the Combined Standings.
Richard Menjivar scored the lone goal of the night in the 12th minute, firing a hard shot from distance to put Tampa Bay into the lead. The Rowdies were unable to add to their lead and faced a nervy final 20 minutes, but did enough to preserve the clean sheet and earn all three points.
“I’d like to say I was standing there cool, calm and collected, but I wasn’t,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said of the final stretch of the match, when Carolina was on the front foot and looked likely to score. “It’s nice to be here having won the game in that matter, rather than standing here wondering about the chances that we missed. I’ve got to give credit to the whole team defensively, not just the back four. They showed tonight how much this game meant to them.”
Carolina attackers Tiyi Shipalane and Nacho Novo had their fair chances at scoring throughout the match, but each time, a Rowdies defender put his body on the line to block the shot or deflect it or close the shooting window. Each time a shot made it through to goal, goalkeeper Matt Pickens made the save.
“We had plenty of chances and got unfortunate with their goalkeeper making some good saves, but we played a great game tonight all over the field,” Rowdies defender Ben Sweat said. “Everyone was defending well tonight, so that was a huge boost.”
Tampa Bay could’ve scored another goal or two of its own, with Maicon Santos, Darwin Espinal and Georgi Hristov all among those who could’ve scored on the night, but Menjivar’s lone goal was more than enough for the Rowdies.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Richard Menjivar - 12th minute

Rowdies: Pickens; Balchan, Mkandawire (c), Antonijevic, Sweat; King, Menjivar, Chavez, Espinal; Adu (Saragosa 90'); Hristov (Santos 60')
Carolina: Gilstrap; Miller, Danso, Tobin, Low; Perez (Thompson 74'), Osaki (Catic 82'); Shipalane, Engel (Jackson 46'), da Luz; Novo

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