The Tampa Bay Rowdies travel to the Alamo City to take on the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions at Heroes Stadium, Sunday night for the final regular season meeting between the two teams. The match offers a chance for the Scorpions to clinch a spot in the playoffs in their first-ever season.
Having started the season slowly, the Rowdies have become the most in-form team in the league as of late, with just one loss in their last ten matches. Last weekend the Rowdies failed to win at home for the first time since a scoreless tie with then-unbeaten Minnesota Stars FC back on May 25 after the Atlanta Silverbacks held the Rowdies to a 0-0 draw at Al Lang Stadium. Matt Clare was guilty of missing the Rowdies’ best chance, failing to convert from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime.
San Antonio returned to winning ways away to the Minnesota Stars on Saturday. The Scorpions won their first match in three games after a 2-1 loss at home to Puerto Rico Islanders and a 1-1 draw with FC Edmonton. Hans Denissen scored the game’s only goal from the penalty spot—Justin Davis and Martin Nuñez had goals disallowed for the Stars—to capture San Antonio’s league-high eleventh win of the season.
The Rowdies pulled of the most dramatic comebacks of the season in the last meeting between the sides. Down 2-1 at home with just over two minutes remaining, Luke Mulholland scored a spectacular free-kick to pull Tampa Bay level before Tsuyoshi Yoshitake grabbed the match-winner deep into stoppage time.
If the Scorpions win, and FC Edmonton fails to defeat Carolina, they will become the first team this season to clinch a playoff spot. A tie will also secure a spot for San Antonio, but only in Edmonton lose. The Rowdies do not have a chance to clinch yet, but three points would put them just a point off of first place.
San Antonio Scorpions vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Sunday, August 19, 2012— 8:45 P.M. EDT
San Antonio, TX
Webcast: NASL on ustream
2012 Series: San Antonio, 2-0-1, 6 points
San Antonio Tampa Bay
Head Coach Tim Hankinson Ricky Hill
2012 Records 1st: 11-6-4, 39 points 2nd: 10-5-6, 35 points
Last Five Games W W L T W W W W T T
Goals Leader Pablo Campos (16) Daniel Antoniuk (6)
Tsuyoshi Yoshitake (6)
Assists Leader Esteban Bayona (5) Mike Ambersley (8)
Walter Ramirez (5)
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
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|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|