FC Tampa Bay held a 1-0 lead late in the match, but FC Edmonton scored in second half injury time for a 1-1 draw Wednesday night at Al Lang Stadium.
“Ultimately you cannot have indifferent performances and then expect to win games,” said head coach Ricky Hill. “We got a goal through hard work and effort, and it was a very good team goal. But we have to do better as a team.”
Midfielder Chad Burt scored in the 51st minute for FC Tampa Bay off a nice feed from midfielder Pascal Millien. It marked Burt's first goal of the 2011 season, and his second overall with FC Tampa Bay.
FC Edmonton tied the game in second half stoppage time as midfielder Chris Kooy connected on the game-tying goal, with the assist going to forward Paul Craig.
“To give up a goal that late in the game is a heartbreaker,” said Burt. “It’s tough to deal with. We have to put the ball in the net and keep it out of ours.”
FC Tampa Bay’s green and yellow came out strong, getting two shots off early in the game, but quickly lost the advantage when FC Edmonton fell into a comfortable stride and played a slower-paced possession game.
FC Edmonton continued to advance offensively in the first half, leading to FCTB defender JP Rodrigues working in a one on one situation with an Edmonton attacker in the 25th minute. Rodrigues was able to catch the ball with the tip of his boot as he fell backwards to the ground. The ball bounced still dangerously close to FCTB territory when defender and team captain Frankie Sanfilippo made a slide tackle on the edge of the six-yard box. Finally, goalkeeper Jeff Attinella corralled the ball off of a rebound, ending the FC Edmonton chance.
FC Tampa Bay held on to keep the match scoreless until halftime, despite being outshot 8-4 in the opening 45 minutes.
Only minutes into the second half of the game FCTB took the lead with a perfectly constructed attack on goal. Millien drove a flawless cross from the left side of the field that connected with Burt, whose volley evaded FC Edmonton goalkeeper Lance Parker in the 51st minute.
FC Tampa Bay held onto the lead, keeping possession for the majority of the half. Forward Aaron King relieved Millien in the 70th minute of the match, pushing forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake back to the midfield. King gave FCTB three more shots, including a header in the 72nd minute off of Burt’s cross that Parker pushed out of bounds for a corner kick.
FC Edmonton tried to increase its offensive pressure with two of its substitutions in the second half. Forward Conrad Smith entered the game in the 68th minute, followed by forward Daniel Antoniuk in the 81st.
Attinella added four more saves in the second half, including a laser near-post shot from Kooy in the 83rd minute. Attinella had the angle cut off for the back post and deflected the ball in a full body extension.
However, in second half stoppage time, in a multi-player scramble Craig dropped the ball a few yards back from the goal to Kooy, who found the back of the net for the equalizer.
“I definitely thought we deserved the shutout and the win, but in the last minute, we have to fight,” said Attinella. “They wanted it more than we did. We didn’t play well enough to win.”
FC Tampa Bay returns to action this Saturday, May 14 when it travels to Fort Lauderdale to face the Strikers at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium.
FCTB: Chad Burt - 51st minute (assisted by Pascal Millien)
FCE: Chris Kooy - 90+ minute (assisted by Paul Craig)
FCTB: Mike Ambersley - 55th minute
FCTB: Frankie Sanfilippo - 74th minute
FC Tampa Bay lineup: GK Jeff Attinella, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D J.P. Rodrigues, D David Hayes, D Omar Jarun, M Tony McManus, M Pascal Millien (Aaron King 70'), M Takuya Yamada, M Chad Burt, F Tsuyoshi Yoshitake (Keith Savage 79'), F Mike Ambersley (Matt Clare 90')
FC Edmonton lineup: GK Lance Parker, D Alex Surprenant, D Paul Matthijs, D Paul Hamilton (John Jonke 74'), D Antonio Rago, M Shaun Saiko, M Kyle Yamada, M Chris Kooy (Captain), F Paul Craig, F Sam Lam (Daniel Antoniuk 81'), F Kyle Porter (Conrad Smith 68')
FC Tampa Bay: 13 Shots, 7 Saves, 4 Corner Kicks, 13 Fouls
FC Edmonton: 22 Shots, 5 Saves, 3 Corner Kicks, 11 Fouls