SAN ANTONIO, Texas (October 7, 2017) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night as they visited San Antonio FC at Toyota Field.
Bulgarian midfielder Georgi Hristov put the Rowdies up in the 69th minute, but San Antonio would level it up late in the match thanks to a goal by forward Ever Guzman.
"It was a good away performance," said Head Coach Stuart Campbell. "We controlled portions of the match, maintaining possession and carving out several chances. This is a tough play to play, so I am very pleased with the performance of our players."
It was a back-and-forth first half with both teams looking to find the opening goal. San Antonio would have an indirect free kick inside the box in the 9th minute, but it would be well defended by Tampa Bay.
Minutes later, the Rowdies had back-to-back chances of their own. San Antonio goalkeeper Diego Restrepo denied midfielder Darwin Jones with a low save, and on the rebound defender Kyle Porter would sail his shot over the bar.
The Rowdies were unable to beat Restrepo in the first half, despite creating numerous chances. San Antonio had the same frustrations on the other end, with Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens making several good interventions to keep the match scoreless.
The second half started off slowly, but it would pick up in the 66th minute when Marcel Schäfer spotted Jones inside the box. With space, Jones ripped a shot off but it sailed over the bar.
Minutes later, the Rowdies would open up the scoring off a Hristov goal. A long cross by Schäfer found Walter Restrepo at the far post. The midfielder headed the ball across the box, and Hristov was able to nail the shot past Restrepo. This was the Bulgarian's 50th goal since joining the club in 2013.
With the game coming to an end, San Antonio had several opportunities, but were unable to get clear shots on Pickens.
After almost giving up a second goal, San Antonio leveled the match in the 88th minute. Forward Billy Forbes sent in a low cross from the left and second-half substitute Ever Guzman poked it in at the back post.
"When you concede a late goal, your immediate reaction is of disappointment, thinking you chucked away your shot at three points," said Campbell. "It's important to take a step back and look at the positives, especially since this is a very hard stadium to get a results in."
Both clubs continued to push for the game-winning goal, but were unable to find it, with the match ending 1-1.
The Rowdies now travel to up I-4 to face Orlando City B on Thursday, October 12. This will be the Rowdies last regular season match of the season.
"Thursday's match will be crucial, and we know our fans will be there to support us," stated Campbell. "It's important for us to clinch a home playoff game, and our entire organization knows that. Al Lang is a fortress and come playoffs time, we want to host as many matches as we can."
Tampa Bay: Georgi Hristov - 69th minute (assisted by Walter Restrepo)
San Antonio: Ever Guzman - 88th minute (assisted by Billy Forbes)
San Antonio: Pecka - 50th minute
San Antonio: Omar Gordon - 55th minute
Tampa Bay: Walter Restrepo - 72nd minute
San Antonio: Mark O’Ojong - 84th minute
San Antonio: Ever Guzman - 88th minute
Rowdies XI (4-2-3-1): GK Matt Pickens; D Darnell King, Hunter Gorskie, Tamika Mkandawire (C), Kyle Porter (Zac Portillos 76'); M Martin Vingaard, Marcel Schäfer; M Walter Restrepo (Keith Savage 84'), Georgi Hristov, Darwin Jones; F Martin Paterson (Sebastian Guenzatti 77')
San Antonio FC (4-4-2): GK Diego Restrepo; D Mark O’Ojong, Sebastien Ibeagha, Stephen McCarthy (Cyprian Hedrick 90+'), Greg Cochrane; M Ryan Roushandel, Pecka, Michael Reed (c) (Mike Seth 85'), Cesar Elizondo (Ever Guzman 77'); F Omar Gordon, Billy Forbes