EDMONTON -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies were defeated by FC Edmonton 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta. The Eddies scored twice in a span of three minutes to earn the two-goal lead at the end of the first 45 minutes. Midfielder Luke Mulholland cut the lead to one early in the second half but Edmonton would hold on for the 2-1 win.
Despite both teams sharing possession early on, the Rowdies were unable to create any dangerous chances in the final third. FC Edmonton had several dangerous opportunities to score the opening goal, with the first one coming in the 23rd minute. After defender Frankie Sanfilippo had been beat on the left flank, the defender regrouped and was able to clear a shot off the line from midfielder Robert Garrett.
Moments later, Edmonton defender Eddie Edwards flew down the right flank and curled a shot on goal but it went off the post. The rebound was picked up by forward Corey Hertzog, but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
The match would see its first goal of the night in the 34th minute as forward Daryl Fordyce was well placed to find a rebound off of Restrepo and from inside the 6-yard box he would score the opening goal.
Just moments later, it was Garrett’s turn to score as he doubled the Eddies lead with a strike from 25 yards out. The shot curled into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
The Rowdies would be unable to score in the remaining 10 minutes of the half, as Edmonton’s defense had a solid first half, allowing little space for the Rowdies to build up any offensive chances.
Tampa Bay came out strong in the second half, finding their first goal of the night in the 48th minute. Mulholland places his free kick from 35 yards out into the back of the net, scoring his 10th goal of the season. Mulholland has three goals in his last three matches.
With the Rowdies down one, Mulholland nearly equalized the match in the 52nd minute with a shot on goal but goalkeeper John Smits would make the save.
After an initial push by the Rowdies, Edmonton would settle down and almost score their third of the night. Midfielder Chris Nurse found space on the left flank and powered a shot on goal but a diving Restrepo was there to deny the goal.
It was Restrepo who once again made sure the Rowdies would remain just one goal down as he made another terrific save in the 76th minute. Midfielder Neil Hlavaty saw an opportunity to take a shot and as the ball blistered towards goal, the Rowdies goalkeeper dove to his right and made another stop.
As Tampa Bay looked for the goal that would level the match, they struggled to break a tough Edmonton defense. The Eddies had several chances in the final minutes of the match including one shot off the crossbar and another of the right post.
Tampa Bay is winless in their last three away matches, while next week they return home where they are currently on a four-game winning streak.
Edmonton: Daryl Fordyce - 34th minute (Assisted by Sadi Jalali)
Edmonton: Robert Garrett - 36th minute
Tampa Bay: Luke Mulholland - 48th minute
Edmonton: Robert Garrett - 57th minute
Tampa Bay: Frankie Sanfilippo - 84th minute
Edmonton: Eddie Edward - 86th minute
Edmonton: Corey Hertzog - 90th minute
GK Diego Restrepo; D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D Takuya Yamada, D Andres Arango (Jay Needham 75'), D Raphael Cox; M Keith Savage, M Stuart Campbell, M Luke Mulholland; F Etienne Barbara (Evans Frimpong 72'), F Carl Cort, F Lucky Mkosana
GK John Smits; D Lance Laing, D Albert Watson (Captain), D David Proctor, D Eddie Edward; M Robert Garrett, M Chris Nurse (Edem Mortotsi 89'), M Neil Hlavaty, M Daryl Fordyce; F Corey Hertzog, F Sadi Jalali (Massimo Mirabelli 70')
Tampa Bay's will play its last home match of the season on Saturday, November 2 against Minnesota United FC. Exclusive discounted $10 General Admission tickets will be available only through the Rowdies Front Office at (813) 287-1539.