ST. PETERSBURG, FL (April 18, 2012) - The Rowdies played to a 1-1 draw against the Carolina Railhawks at Al Lang Stadium on Wednesday night.
Carolina opened the scoring in the 67th minute when forward Brian Shriver volleyed the ball into the top right corner of the net after a feed from midfielder Mike Palacio. The Rowdies equalizer came quickly, as forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake scored from inside the 6-yard box for his first of the year after an assist from second half substitute Daniel Antoniuk in the 70th minute.
The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first 45 minutes. The Rowdies closed the first half with several chances to break the tie but the RailHawks were able to clear the ball off the line on several occasions.
Carolina answered back in the last minute of the half with a strong header by Carolina’s Nick Zimmerman, but Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella came up with a big save to keep the match scoreless.
As the second half got underway, it was clear that Tampa Bay was pushing for the first goal of the night. The first chance of the half came in the 59th minute, when Yoshitake received a great through ball that left him one-on-one with Carolina goalkeeper Ray Burse. Yoshitake eluded Burse by sending the ball wide towards the end line, but his shot from a angle was deflected for a corner kick by Burse.
A minute later, forward Luke Mulholland recovered a rebound in the RailHawks area and tried to curl it into the top left corner but it blasted off the crossbar.
Carolina opened the scoring when Shriver received a feed from Mike Palacio and scored the first goal of the night in the 67th minute after his volley slammed into the top right corner of the net.
“We dominated the start of the second half and that was the only chance I can remember them having,” said Mulholland. “As soon as they scored the goal, we got the ball quickly and got back on the front again trying to get that equalizer.”
The Rowdies reacted quickly and in the 70th minute, the equalizer came. The play started with a cross that came from the right delivered by defender Frankie Sanfilippo, which Antoniuk headed into the heart of the six-yard box where Yoshitake was placed perfectly, drilling it to the back of the net with a one-time volley.
“I felt that we always kept that belief that the way we were playing we would create opportunities,” said Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill. “All credit must go to the players for keeping their composure, managing to still play in a certain style, not to panic and resort to trying to get hopeful balls in. From a team perspective I was pleased with our play.”
After the goal Tampa Bay continued to look for the game winner, creating several opportunities on Carolina’s goal. Mulholland came close to giving the Rowdies the lead when his shot from outside the 18-yard box was saved by Burse, who sent the ball out for a corner kick. Overall the Rowdies outshot the RailHawks 22-10 and Burse made eight saves on the night.
“I think anyone that was here will obviously feel that we deserved the win,” said Hill. “I am a bit disappointed but we managed to salvage one point. It’s good since it gives us our second game unbeaten and it gives the players a lot of confidence. I felt the players were resilient and they kept us in the game after going one down.”
The Rowdies travel to Atlanta this Saturday, April 21 for their first meeting against the Silverbacks this season. Following that match, Tampa Bay hosts rival Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, April 28 at Al Lang Stadium.
Carolina: Brian Shriver - 65th minute (assisted by Mike Palacio)
Tampa Bay: Tsuyoshi Yoshitake - 70th minute (assisted by Daniel Antoniuk)
Tampa Bay Rowdies
GK Jeff Attinella, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D JP Rodrigues, D Andres Arango, D Takuya Yamada, M Stuart Campbell, M Shane Hill (Daniel Antoniuk 65'), M Keith Savage, F Luke Mulholland, F Mike Ambersley, F Tsuyoshi Yoshitake (Matt Clare 79')
GK Ray Burse, D Kupono Low (Captain), D Greg Shields, D John Krause, D Austen King, M Amir Lowery, M Cory Elenio, M Nick Zimmerman, M Mike Palacio (Ty Shipalane 72'), F Jason Garey (Breiner Ortiz 77'), F Brian Shriver (Austin Da Luz 90')
Tampa Bay Rowdies: 22 shots, 3 saves, 5 fouls, 9 corners, 3 offsides
Carolina: 10 shots, 9 saves, 14 fouls, 3 corners, 3 offsides