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Rowdies Rout Strikers in Final Game of Spring Season


ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated in-state rivals 4-0 on Thursday night in front of a season-high 5,034 fans at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL. Two goals in each half propelled the Rowdies to a comfortable win, extending their win streak against the Strikers to four games.

In the 20th minute forward Georgi Hristov ran down the Strikers’ right flank and played a through ball to Savage who buried his shot from inside the eighteen yard box into the side netting of the far post. Strikers forward Hosman Ramos fired a shot towards Rowdies keeper Diego Restrepo’s in the 28th minute, which the keeper successfully blocked away.

“The first goal is important especially you are playing at home,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill.  “I’m very pleased that we didn’t have any individual errors on the back line and our goalkeeper Diego did his job for us tonight.” 

Savage’s second goal came as a result of a Luke Mulholland free kick. Mulholland played the ball into the box only to have it punched away by Strikers keeper Matt Glaeser, but Savage headed the ball into the now empty net from 8 yards away. Savage now has three goals on the season.


The second half began with a bang as Strikers left back Stephane Guillaume hit a rocket from distance off of Diego Restrepo’s crossbar which was cleared away by defender Jordan Gafa.

The Rowdies added to their lead in the 52nd minute when defender Jay Needham headed in a Luke Mulholland corner kick. Mulholland has four assists this season. The Rowdies made the scoreline 4-0 when Hristov placed another perfect through ball for fellow forward Mike Ambersley to slot home past Glaeser. Hristov now leads the team with 5 assists.

The Strikers had a great chance to get a goal back in the 70th minute when Jemal Johnson was free from 10 yards away but Restrepo came out and blocked Johnson’s shot. In the final minutes of play the Rowdies controlled possession and neither team had too many serious chances to change the scoreline.

“We have been the best team in the league with our consistency because of our level of performance,” explained Hill. “It has been our individual errors that have hurt us especially at home.  We have dropped 13 points at Al Lang and that is just not us.  We need to improve this in the second half of the season. We had one of the best records on the road and we need to maintain that along with improving our home record.”

Tampa Bay has now defeated the Strikers in both meetings between the clubs this year, with the Rowdies now undefeated in 13 of the last 14 meetings against Ft. Lauderdale since 2010.

Scoring Summary

Tampa Bay: Keith Savage - 20th minute (Assisted by Georgi Hristov)

Tampa Bay: Keith Savage - 32nd minute

Tampa Bay: Jay Needham - 52nd minute (Assisted by Luke Mulholland)

Tampa Bay: Mike Ambersley - 56th minute (Assisted by Georgi Hristov)

Caution Summary

Ft. Lauderdale: Toni Stahl - 30th minute

Ft. Lauderdale: Rubens - 31st minute

Tampa Bay: Jay Needham - 54th minute

Ft. Lauderdale: Manny Gonzalez - 67th minute

Starting XI

Tampa Bay:

GK Diego Restrepo; D Jordan Gafa, D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D Jay Needham, D Andres Arango (Raphael Cox 45'); M Luke Mulholland, M Shane Hill (Staurt Campbell 45'), M Keith Savage, M Evans Frimpong; F Mike Ambersley, F Georgi Hristov (Amani Walker 72')

Ft. Lauderdale:

GK Matt Glaeser; D Stephane Guillaume, D Justin Chavez, D Rubens (Manny Gonzalez 59'), D Ivan Guerrero; M Pecka (Mike Dietze 86'), M Toni Stahl (Captain), M Darnell King, M Jemal Johnson; F Makr Anderson, F Hosman Ramos (Walter Restrepo 59')

Up Next: 

The 2012 NASL Champions will open the Fall Season on the road at Toyota Field against San Antonio on Saturday, August 3. The historic rivalry between the Rowdies and the Cosmos will reemerge just two weeks into the 2013 NASL Fall Season on Saturday, August 10, with Tampa Bay hosting New York at Al Lang Stadium. To purchase tickets for the home opener, click here.


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