photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies
By FRANCO PANIZO
One of the most historic derbies in U.S. soccer history was renewed this weekend, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ft. Lauderdale Strikers faced off for the first time in 19 years.
Playing in their first match since 1993, the Rowdies defeated their Florida rivals, 3-1, in front of 3,536 fans at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday night. The result ended Ft. Lauderdale's undefeated start to the season, and lifted Tampa Bay to second place in the standings.
Matt Clare gave the Rowdies the lead in the opening 45 minutes before Mike Ambersley converted a penalty kick in the second half. Playing without top scorer Andy Herron due to injury, the Strikers trimmed the deficit in half in the 90th minute of their third game in eight days through a finish from Walter Restrepo. The Rowdies responded shortly after, however, as Keith Savage found the back of the net.
Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 4 action in NASL:
SILVERBACKS, STARS SPLIT POINTS IN SIX-GOAL AFFAIR
Talk about a tale of two halves. After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, the Atlanta Silverbacks and Minnesota Stars FC combined for six goals in the second half to play to a 3-3 draw at Atlanta Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, GA on Saturday night. Goals from Devin Del Do in the 88th minute and Justin Davis deep into stoppage time saw Minnesota rally from a 3-1 deficit to earn a point as 4,176 spectators took in the proceedings.
The second half began well for Atlanta, as Reinaldo Navia scored twice in the first 19 minutes before Amani Walker pulled one back for the Stars in the 66th minute. David Santamaria then scored his first goal of the year for the Silverbacks in the 79th minute before they surrendered the two late goals.
LATE GOAL GIVES SCORPIONS WIN OVER RAILHAWKS
The San Antonio Scorpions picked up the first win in their short history on Saturday courtesy of a late goal from Kevin Harmse. The Scorpions captain scored in the 82nd minute to lift San Antonio to a 1-0 victory over the Carolina RailHawks. Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler made his first start of the year as 3,041 fans watched on at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary N.C., and he made four saves to preserve the result for the visitors.
1. Puerto Rico Islanders (3-1-1, 10 points, +6 GD)
2. Tampa Bay Rowdies (2-1-2, 8 points, +2 GD)
3. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (2-1-2, 8 points, 0 GD)
4. Minnesota Stars FC (1-0-3, 6 points, +1 GD)
5. San Antonio Scorpions (1-1-2, 5 points, -3 GD)
6. Atlanta Silverbacks (0-0-4, 4 points, 0 GD)
7. Carolina RailHawks (0-2-3, 3 points, -3 GD)
8. FC Edmonton (0-3-1, 1 point, -3 GD)
What do you think of FC Edmonton's woeful start to the season? Happy to see the Islanders remain in first place? Surprised that neither Florida team was able to seal the deal despite having late leads?
Share your thoughts below.