Second-Half Equalizer Rescues Point For Rowdies

Michel's opener for Rayo OKC cancelled out by late own goal
NASL Staff | May 14, 2016

Photo credit: Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies


English veteran Joe Cole, signed last week by the Rowdies (2-3-1, 9), was active from the opening whistle before 6,702 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday night. He had his best chance 19 minutes into the match when he maneuvered skillfully for an open shot that was deflected by the Rayo OKC (2-2-2, 8) defense.

But it was the visitors who took the lead in the 54th minute after a misplay in the Tampa Bay penalty area as goalkeeper Matt Pickens and defender Neill Collins collided as Pickens advanced to meet a cross. The ball popped loose and Rayo OKC’s Michel was there to pounce, scoring easily into the open net. It was Michel’s fourth goal of the season, tying Minnesota's Christian Ramirez for the Spring Season lead.

Seconds before Rayo OKC scored the game’s first goal, goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes swatted a ball clear that was extremely close to crossing the goal line. Tampa Bay players appealed to the referee, but to no avail.

The Rowdies drew even when Tom Heinemann’s shot was turned into the net by Rayo OKC defender Juanan for an own goal in the 74th minute. Heinemann had run onto a through ball from Michael Nanchoff.

For more details on the match, head over to and

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