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Rowdies Draw 1-1 with Austin Aztex

Click here for the official match report.

FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Pull Off 1-1 Draw with Austin Aztex in Stoppage Time

With the final seconds ticking away, Aaron King scored a last gasp equalizing goal and rescued what could be a crucial point as the end of the regular season looms. Coming into the night, FC Tampa Bay trailed NSC Minnesota by six points for the final playoff spot.

The Aztex came to town as winners just once in their last four games.

For most of the second half, it seemed as if Austin was turning its fortunes around as they continued to lead 1-0 with the clock nearing, and eventually eclipsing 90 minutes. It was not to be, though, as King collected his team-high 10th goal of the season and fourth goal in his last four games played.

“It was just one of those games where we were pressing and it was just about figuring out who was going to get the goal," said King. "Rob had a great hit and I was in the right place. I just had to keep it on target and luckily it went in for me."

The Rowdies opened the game in impressive fashion with an up tempo offense spearheaded by Aaron Wheeler. Wheeler, returning from an injury, was able to put in 68 minutes of work as he nears full fitness.

Ricardo Sanchez, always a threat to score with his free kicks, nearly took advantage of two spot kicks from just outside the Austin 18-yard box. Sanchez’s first try was just wide and hit the side netting on the near side of the goal. His second effort forced Austin keeper Miguel Gallardo to make a diving save to keep the ball from sneaking just inside the far post.

Austin withstood the pressure and jumped out to a lead in the 50th minute when Austin’s two Griffins worked together to score. Defender Leonard Griffin completed the final pass to forward Maxwell Griffin, who beat goalkeeper Josh Lambo. It was Max Griffin’s eighth goal of the season.

“I thought they scored against the run of play to be honest," said Rowdies Head Coach Paul Dalglish. "After they scored, they had more chances because we had to come out and try and go for a goal. After making a bad decision to come out before the goal, I thought Josh Lambo was absolutely magnificent. Credit to him for having the mental toughness to come back after that mistake and keep us in the game at times.”

Two second half substitutions made by Dalglish again turned the tide in favor of the home team.

Maykel Galindo was inserted into the game in the 68th minute treplacing Wheeler. Seven minutes later, King entered the game, replacing midfielder Kwame “JJ” Adjeman-Pamboe.

King’s goal secured the third draw this season with the Austin Aztex, who are in contention for the number one seed in the playoffs. All three draws have come via late goals for FC Tampa Bay.

Jeremy Christie converted an 86th minute penalty kick on May 8th in the Rowdies home opener to earn a 2-2 draw. Eleven days later, Gordon Kljestan scored with an 88th minute free kick to secure a 3-3 tie at Austin.

“It feels like a victory when you score that late," said Dalglish. "They’re the best team in the league and we competed with them tonight. It just shows that when we’ve got our best 11 on the field, we can match up well with the rest of the league. For us to show that we can compete with them, it’s a big confidence boost for our guys.”

FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Lineup: GK Josh Lambo, D Rob Valentino, D Justin Morrow, D Yendry Diaz, D Pascal Millien, M Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe (75' - Aaron King), M Jeremy Christie, M Jonny Steele, M Ricardo Sanchez, M Takuya Yamada (75' -Mozzi Gyorio) and F Aaron Wheeler (68' - Maykel Galindo).

Austin Aztex Lineup: GK Miguel Gallardo, D Kieron Bernard, D Lance Watson, F Eddie Johnson, M Yordany Alvarez, F Maxwell Griffin (78' - Randi Patterson), D Leonard Griffin, M Kevin Sakuda, M Michael Callahan, D Jay Needham and F Jamie Watson (69' - Tsuyoshi Yoshitake).


Game Summary:

Goals:

AUS - Maxwell Griffin - 50' (Assisted by Leonard Griffin)

TAM - Aaron King - 90'+

Shots:

TAM - 15

AUS - 11

Saves:

TAM - 3

AUS - 7

Fouls:

TAM - 16

AUS - 19

Misconduct:

AUS - Lance Watson - 32' (yellow)

TAM - Justin Morrow - 36' (yellow)

TAM - Takuya Yamada - 53' (yellow)

TAM - Ricardo Sanchez - 75' (yellow)

AUS - Kevin Sakuda - 89' (yellow)

AUS - Leonard Griffin - 90'+ (yellow)

 
 
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Standings

NASL Conference PLD PTS
Carolina 29 44
Vancouver 29 44
Montreal 29 40
Miami 29 32
AC St Louis 29 29
Baltimore 29 24
USL Conference PLD PTS
Austin 28 53
Rochester 29 51
Portland 29 48
NSC Minnesota 30 40
Puerto Rico 29 36
FC Tampa Bay 29 29