The Tampa Bay Rowdies won their third straight game on Saturday night, defeating Saint Leo University 2-1 at Mitchell Fields. An early goal in the first half by midfielder Luke Mulholland put the Rowdies up 1-0, while second half substitute Devin Del Do doubled the lead in the 49th minute. The Lions would cut the lead to one in the 70th minute after a defensive error from the Rowdies. A late push from the Lions would prove to be unsuccessful, as the Rowdies would hold on for the 2-1 win.
The NASL side had several dangerous headers in the first 10 minutes thanks to some great crossing by Mulholland and midfielder Raphael Cox. The Rowdies pressure would pay off, as in the 12th minute Campbell found Mulholland in open space, who smashed his strike in the upper right corner from 25 yards out.
Forward Georgi Hristov was close to doubling the lead in the 22nd minute having his shot saved by Saint Leo’s goalkeeper Manuel Schoenhuber. Mulholland continued to be the Rowdies main offensive threat with multiple chances before the half came to an end.
Minutes into the second half, Del Do scored what would be a decisive goal for the Rowdies. The forward received a great through ball from midfielder Kyle Clinton, finding himself one-on-one with the Lions goalkeeper at the top of the box. Del Do would place his kick in the bottom left corner of the net to make it 2-0.
After the second goal, the NASL Champions continued to dominate the match but they would be unable to extend their lead. In what was one of the only dangerous chances that Saint Leo would have in the match, Lions forward Josh Davis capitalized on a Rowdies defensive mistake scoring the final goal of the night.
Having cut the lead in half, the Lions looked to equalize off counter attacks and crosses into the box. The Rowdies continued to play intelligently in the final minutes of play, keeping possession and not letting Saint Leo create any dangerous chances.
Tampa Bay: Luke Mulholland - 12th minute (assisted by Stuart Campbell)
Tampa Bay: Devin Del Do - 49th minute (assisted by Kyle Clinton)
Saint Leo: Josh Davis - 70th minute
Tampa Bay: Luke Mulholland - 18th minute
Saint Leo: Josh Davis - 29th minute
GK Andrew Fontein (Diego Restrepo 60'); D Frankie Sanfilippo, Jay Needham (Daniel Scott 70'), Takuya Yamada (Anton Blackwood 70'), Raphael Cox (Jordan Gafa 75'); M Luke Mulholland (Mike Ambersley 75'), Stuart Campbell (Jamael Cox 75'), Kyle Clinton (Shane Hill 60'), Keith Savage (Andres Arango 45'); F Amani Walker (Devin Del Do 45'), Georgi Hristov
GK Schoenhuber; D Tapper, Lavie, Panter, Da Silva; M Blanchette, Otterstedt, Herrera, Bosch; F Lontrato, Davis
The Rowdies and Orlando City will battle it out in the second leg of the I-4 Derby Presented by United World Soccer on Saturday, March 30 at Al Lang Stadium. Fans can purchase their tickets for the second leg of the I-4 Derby at Al Lang by clicking here or by calling the front office at 813-287-1539.
The reigning NASL Soccer Bowl Champions will start the 2013 NASL Spring Season by hosting the Carolina RailHawks in its 2013 home opener on Saturday, April 6 at Al Lang Stadium. For information on 2013 season ticketscontact the front office at 813-287-1539 or email@example.com.
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