The Tampa Bay Rowdies lost to first place San Antonio Scorpions on Sunday night by a final score of 4-0.
With the loss, Tampa Bay is now tied for second place in the NASL standings with the Puerto Rico Islanders. The loss on Sunday night is only the second loss for Tampa Bay in its last eleven league matches.
“I’m very disappointed in the performance, particularly from the 12th minute to around the 30th minute when our defending was unacceptable. San Antonio getting through to our goal numerous times with just one through ball is alarming and our defenders have to take responsibility for that,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “Having said that, going 3 goals down was really disheartening and we tried to win the second half. We were prepared to go there to hold a good shape and hopefully come away with the right result. They were very good with the direct football they play and we were poor from a mental perspective.”
The Scorpions opened the scoring early with a goal by Walter Ramirez in the 8th minute of play. Ramirez was sent in one-on-one with Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella by a through ball from midfielder Aaron Pitchkolan.
NASL leading goal scorer Pablo Campos then added two more first half goals for the home team, including converting a penalty kick in the 29th minute. The penalty kick was awarded to San Antonio after Attinella took down Campos in the box attempting to make a save.
In response to the early goals by San Antonio, Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill made a first half substitution sending in defender Draymond Washington for defender Daniel Scott. The second half was a more equal match with both sides trading possession and scoring chances. The Rowdies made two more substitutions in the second half with forwards Fafa Picault and Evans Frimpong entering the match for Matt Clare and Daniel Antoniuk.
The Rowdies could not convert several corner kicks and free kicks, and Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler made a save on a long distance, hard shot on goal by Shane Hill late in the game to preserve the shutout. The Scorpions capped off the win with a goal in stoppage time by Esteban Bayona to make it 4-0.
“We have a hard week of work in front of us to lift the morale after an unacceptable performance. We can address that by getting back to the basics that we’ve done well the past couple of months. I feel in recent time we’ve stuttered slightly, and perhaps minutes played has caught up with a few players, but we need to get minds and bodies back into gear,” added Ricky Hill.
The NASL playoff race continues next weekend with a crucial match between the two second place teams, the Rowdies and the Puerto Rico Islanders. The match, presented by Lotto, will be played on Saturday, August 25 at 7:30pm ET at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg, FL.
For tickets, call 813-287-1539 or click here to purchase your seats now.
San Antonio: Walter Ramirez - 8th minute (assisted by Josue Soto)
San Antonio: Pablo Campos - 17th minute (assisted by Kevin Harmse)
San Antonio: Pablo Campos - 29th minute - Penalty Kick
San Antonio: Esteban Bayona - 90+ minute (assisted by Hans Denissen)
Tampa Bay: Frankie Sanfilippo - 45th minute
Tampa Bay: Draymond Washington - 49th minute
Tampa Bay: Luke Mulholland - 52nd minute
Tampa Bay: Mike Ambersley - 56th minute
San Antonio: Daryl Sattler - 56th minute
Tampa Bay: 8 shots (2 shots on goal), 6 save, 16 fouls, 5 corners, 3 offsides
San Antonio: 14 shots (10 shot on goal), 2 saves, 14 fouls, 4 corners, 1 offsides
Tampa Bay Rowdies
GK Jeff Attinella, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D Daniel Scott (Draymond Washington 36'), D Takuya Yamada, D JP Rodrigues, M Luke Mulholland, M Stuart Campbell, M Shane Hill, F Matt Clare (Evans Frimpong 63'), F Mike Ambersley, F Daniel Antoniuk (Fafa Picault 63')
San Antonio Scorpions FC
GK Daryl Sattler, D Greg Janicki, D Jonathan Greenfield, D Wes Knight, D Ryan Cochrane, M Aaron Pitchkolan (Javier Saavedra 80'), M Kevin Harmse (Captain), M Walter Ramirez (Esteban Bayona 68'), M Josue Soto, F Hans Denissen, F Pablo Campos (Jeff Cunningham 45')