The Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC Edmonton played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Midfielder Luke Mulholland had put the Rowdies up with a goal in the 38th minute, but Edmonton midfielder Chris Nurse took a strike from outside the 18 to equalize the match in the 45th minute.
“I thought it was a very tough game with nothing between the two teams and probably in the end a draw is a fair result,” said FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller. “They’re a good side at home and they keep working and if you’d asked if I’d be happy to come to Tampa and get a point I’d say I would.
Rowdies coach Ricky Hill added: “I’m frustrated because we shot ourselves in the foot and dropped two points at home and we can’t afford to do that. I’m disappointed and I’m hoping we can give our great fans here a victory soon to cheer them up.
“For me there was not enough quality inside the final box in terms of a quality pass to the forwards.”
Early on in the first half, the home team saw several chances through corner kicks and free kicks, but Edmonton was able to clear the ball in every opportunity.
Mulholland had a chance early on in the half, as he took a strike from outside the 18, but goalkeeper Lance Parker was able to get a touch on the shot, sending it out for a corner kick.
As the half was coming to a close, Mulholland was able to put the Rowdies up 1-0 after picking up his own rebound and slicing it past Parker. His shot from close range was originally stopped by Parker, but the England native was quick to get to the rebound and make it 1-0.
Minutes later, it was Mulholland again who found himself on the doorsteps of making it 2-0. After finding some space in the box, the midfielder chipped the goalkeeper but the Eddies were able to clear it off the line.
It looked like the Rowdies would enter halftime up 1-0, but the Eddies made it 1-1 in the final play of the half. After Tampa Bay’s defense failed to properly clear the ball, Nurse picked up a rebound and placed his shot in the bottom left corner of the net.
With the Rowdies pushing for their second goal of the night, their first dangerous chance came off a corner kick taken by midfielder Raphael Cox. After his cross sailed across the box, Mulholland volleyed it on net. The Eddies goalkeeper once again came up big making another save.
Tampa Bay continued to apply the pressure, having another chance on goal in the 64th minute. This time Mulholland sent in a cross from the right flank, finding Needham at the heart of the box. The defender was unable to place his header accurately and it sailed just over the crossbar.
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|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|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|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|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|