EDMONTON, AB. (July 15, 2012) – The Tampa Bay Rowdies stunned FC Edmonton 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium on a goal by Luke Mulholland in the 89th minute in front of 1,688 fans. The Rowdies played for more than half of the game with 10 men after forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake was issued a red card in the 33rd minute.
Tampa Bay now has victories in five of its last six matches and has moved into third place in the NASL standings, just one point behind second place Puerto Rico and two points behind league leaders San Antonio. Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made eight saves to post his fourth shutout in 2012 and the ninth of his career.
The Rowdies applied early pressure on FC Edmonton, with forward Matt Clare and defender Takuya Yamada each missing wide of the goal on individual opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the match.
Edmonton Head Coach Harry Sinkgraven made a few changes to the line-up bringing in the newest member of the squad, Bryan Arguez, in a holding central midfield position and dropping captain Chris Kooy back into the centre-back spot ahead of Paul Hamilton who started on the bench.
It was Yashir Pinto who got the best early chance of the half when he hit a crisp shot from within the 18-yard-box, but the Rowdies’ Jeff Attinella made a good save diving to his left.
FC Edmonton had its best chance in the 19th minute when midfielder Shaun Saiko found himself one on one with Attinella. Saiko tried to chip the ball, but Attinella deflected the ball. Saiko then passed to Michael Cox, whose shot was saved by Attinella. Attinella had an excellent first half, notching five total saves for the Rowdies.
The match changed in the 33rd minute when Yoshitake was issued a red card after he and FC Edmonton defender Kevin Hatchi collided near the sideline. Tampa Bay was forced to play a man down for the first time this season.
Tampa Bay controlled much of the possession in the first half and had numerous scoring chances. The Rowdies took nine corner kicks as well as several other free kicks in the first 45 minutes.
The teams went back and forth in the second half on a very slick pitch. Despite playing a man down, the Rowdies were able to generate some pressure on FC Edmonton. At the other end, Attinella continued his strong performance, earning his second shutout in as many games against FC Edmonton this season.
Tampa Bay finally broke through in the 89th minute as Mulholland found the back of the net after a cross from Ambersley. It was Mulholland's third goal of the year and the assist gave Ambersley points in four straight matches with two goals and three assists during that span, including an assist in his third consecutive game.