ST. PETERSBURG, FL (May 29, 2012) -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies fall to Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids Tuesday night in a 3-1 loss in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Al Lang Stadium.
"All in all I think they put a good shift in as a team," said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. "We're very disappointed to have conceded three and to have been knocked out, of course we are. But I think most of the fans who came here should have been quite happy with the level of performance from the players."
Colorado opened the scoring in the 17th minute on a penalty kick by Edu. Tampa Bay was called for a hand ball in the box following a sequence which saw both goalkeeper Jeff Attinella and defender Draymond Washington make saves inside the box. Edu converted the penalty kick in the bottom left corner of the net for a 1-0 Rapids lead. It marked the first goal Tampa Bay had allowed in the first half of any game this season.
The Rapids added to their lead with another score in the 33rd minute. Midfielder Wells Thompson played a perfect lead pass to forward Andre Akpan inside the box and Akpan beat Attinella low to the far corner of the goal for a 2-0 advantage.
Tampa Bay had six shots in the first half with several good scoring opportunities. Forward Mike Ambersley hit the crossbar with a header in the first minute and forward Luke Mulholland's free kick in the opening minutes of the match bounced off the crossbar as well. Colorado goalkeeper Steward Ceus was also forced to make saves on Ambersley and Daniel Antoniuk on consecutive possessions to force Rowdies corner kicks.
In the 48th minute the Rowdies seemed to be on the verge on getting their first goal with a good shot from Ambersley that went wide of the mark. Then off a Tampa Bay corner kick, Antoniuk had a powerful header that was deflected by Ceus for another corner kick.
Colorado extended its lead in the 91st minute of the match with a nice give and go combination between Akpan and Kamani Hill, who blasted the ball into the upper roof of the net. The Rowdies got on the scoreboard in injury time as well with a goal by forward Matt Clare after an assist from Mulholland.
With the win, the Rapids advance to face Sporting KC next Tuesday, June 5 in the fourth round.
The Rowdies begin a three-game road trip this Saturday, June 2 when they travel to face the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium.
Colorado: Edu - 17th minute (Penalty kick)
Colorado: Andre Akpan - 33rd minute (assisted by Wells Thompson)
Colorado: Kamani Hill - 91st minute (assisted by Andre Akpan)
Rowdies: Matt Clare - 92nd minute (assist by Luke Mulholland)
Tampa Bay: Daniel Antoniuk - 19th minute
Colorado: Wells Thompson - 55th minute
Tampa Bay: Draymond Washington - 56th minute
Colorado: Tyrone Marshall - 57th minute
Colorado: Steward Ceus - 92nd minute
Tampa Bay Rowdies
GK Jeff Attinella, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D Andres Arango, D Takuya Yamada, D Draymond Washington, M Stuart Campbell, M Shane Hill, M Keith Savage (Fafa Picault 61'), F Luke Mulholland, F Mike Ambersley, F Daniel Antoniuk (Matt Clare 72')
GK Steward Ceus, D Hunter Freeman (Kosuke Kimura 72'), DTyrone Marshall (Captain), D Scott Palguta, D Luis Zapata, M Harrison Henao (Joseph Nane 58'), M Wells Thompson, M Jaime Castrillon (Tony Cascio 67'), M Kamani Hill, F Andre Akpan, F Edu
Tampa Bay: 13 shots, 7 shots on goal, 6 saves, 14 fouls, 6 corner, 5 offsides
Colorado: 13 shots, 9 shots on goal, 6 saves, 18 fouls, 3 corners, 2 offsides