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NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE

October 5, 2016
NASL ROUNDUP
Rowdies pull out stoppage-time tie with Minnesota United


PC congratulates Keith Savage on his stoppage-time equalizer for the Tampa Bay Rowdies against Minnesota United Wednesday at Al Lang Stadium.
PC congratulates Keith Savage on his stoppage-time equalizer for the Tampa Bay Rowdies against Minnesota United Wednesday at Al Lang Stadium.
courtesy Tampa Bay Rowdies
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Keith Savage scored in the third minute of stoppage time to lift the Tampa Bay Rowdies into a 2-2 draw with Minnesota United FC Wednesday at Al Lang Stadium.

The teams remain tied for fourth place and a potential spot in the NASL playoffs with 37 combined points.

Minnesota took a lead twice in the match with goals by Christian Ramirez in the 17th minute and J.C. Banks in the 51st, but could not leave the Rowdies behind. Giorgi Hristov equalized in the 31st minute before Savage earned Tampa Bay a point with an opportunistic strike in the third minute of stoppage time.

Ramirez put Monnesota on the board after Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens fingertipped Jeb Brovsky's shot off the crossbar and back to Ramirez alone on net. Ramirez tucked it away home easily for his league-leading 16th goal of the season.

The Rowdies evened things up after a questionable no-call in front of the benches along the sideline. Tampa Bay midfielder Eric Avila settled the ball high off his foot and the ball appeared to make contact with his hand as he controlled it. Not waiting for a whistle, Avila delivered a cross into the box, finding Tom Heinemann at the near bar. Heinemann flicked it up over two United defenders to Hristov running free, who finished well into a relatively open net.

Banks tilted the seesaw Minnesota's way after Pickens punched a cross from Kevin Venegas high up into the air toward the far bar. Ramirez challenged the header and forced the Tampa Bay defender to center the ball where Banks was standing. Triple teamed, Banks took a touch away then turned and let rip low through PCs legs and into the back of the net.

By the closing minutes, the Rowdies were desperately lofting the ball into the box from near midfield, forcing the Loons defense to repel repeated attacks. Tampa Bay finally caught a break when one of their hopeful balls landed at the feet of Savage, who made no mistake plugging it away.
Full story from Sunshine Soccer News



   
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