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Rowdies climb back to playoff contention with big victory

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The season is still alive for the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The Rowdies, despite a disappointing Fall Season, moved back into title contention Saturday night with a 2-0 victory over San Antonio. Tampa Bay reclaimed fourth place in the Overall Standings, using their victory and a 2-0 loss by Fort Lauderdale to Ottawa.

Tampa Bay won despite a disappointing beginning when it had two first-half goals disallowed in its victory.

The victory was the Rowdies’ third, plus a tie, in its last five games under coach Stuart Campbell.

“One of the phrases I used at halftime was strength and adversity,” Campbell said. “We started the game as we liked, but we had two goals disallowed. It took the wind out of our sails, but we turned it around and dominated the game. Their goalkeeper made some very good saves and we’re happy to have taken all three points.”

With the rough patch behind them, the Rowdies moved forward in the match.

“It’s not easy when you score twice and they’re taken away,” Juan Guerra said. “But this is what I love about our team. We have a lot of young players, but we’re very mature. We have guys that know how to manage their emotions well and that’s what we did. We stayed together, we waited for the spaces to open and when we had the opportunities to score, we did.”

Herzog scored his second goal in the 50th minute. Guerra scored in the 88th minute to cinch the victory.

The Rowdies head to Jacksonville next to play their 2015 Coastal Cup finale against Jacksonville Armada FC on Saturday, Sept. 26. Tampa Bay will next be home Wednesday, September 30 for a match against the Indy Eleven.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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