Tampa Bay Rowdies walked away from Al Lang at the weekend with a point in their pocket to keep the pressure on their title contending challengers in a weekend of play that ended with no change at the top as all league matches ended with draws.
Both Tampa and Edmonton have found themselves in the unenviable position of having played one game more than their league rivals so points in the bag remain top of the list of things to do as each match progresses and the Rowdies started well when Georgi Hristov scored the opener for the home side on 16 minutes when he scored from the penalty spot.
Edmonton fired back on 34 minutes with a strike from NASL player of week 4, Shaun Saiko, when he saw his shot fire through the legs of Rowdies keeper Diego Restrepo, equalizing the scoreline at 1-1.
As both teams continued in an attacking vein, the 3’412 crowd in attendance urged the players on and more goals seemed inevitable.
Mulholland came closest for the Tampa side with a tremendous free kick effort from just outside the box but as it headed towards the top right corner , Eddies keeper Parker went diving to his left and managed to push it out of harms reach.
Moments after, Neil Hlavaty bulleted a laser pointed missile like strike goal bound but in true Peter-the-Cat style goalkeeping heroics, Diego Restrepo tipped the ball away from between the sticks to keep his side on level terms.
The Rowdies added Carl Cort to the fray on 62 minutes looking to find a route to the winning goal and the move on 70 minutes nearly paid dividends when the striker was fed a ball from Mulholland but Cort’s final shot towards goal was deflected wide of the post via an Edmonton defender.
In the final minute of play, Edmonton nearly nicked the points when Hlavaty got his knee to a loose ball in the six yard area but unfortunately for him and his team, the ball was kept from goal by the width of the post with the rebound seemingly taking an age to trickle out of play and away from danger.
The tied match keeps Tampa in on the hunt for the 2013 title championship, tied on top spot on eight points but with a free week next weekend, they may slip behind, albeit for a week.
Next match in store for the Rowdies is an away match v Minnesota United FC on May 15th, 3.30pm kick off at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
Final score from Al Lang Stadium, Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 FC Edmonton 1
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