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Rowdies give up late goal, settle for draw with Indy

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Don’t talk to Tampa Bay Rowdies coach Thomas Rongen  about time flying.

To him, there are nights when it must seem as if it is standing still.

For the second time in three days, the Rowdies gave up a goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time and it cost them. This time, Tampa Bay gave up the equalizer in a 2-2 tie with the last-place Indy 11. Wednesday night, they gave up the game’s only goal in 1-0 loss in the U.S. Open Cup to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

It was a difficult night all around for the Rowdies, who had to sit through a two-hour and three minute rain delay and who finished the match with only eight players after getting three red cards in the second half.

Indy’s Kyle Hyland scored the final goal to force the tie. He was about 35 yards out and blasted a shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.

The Rowdies had surrendered the first goal of the match when Dylan Mares slipped the ball past goaltender Matt Pickens. Immediately afterward, officials halted the game.

After returning to the pitch, however, the Rowdies seemed to take control. Just before the 40th minute, Rich Balchan scored to tie the game at 1. It was Balchan’s first goal with the Rowdies.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in the 68th minute when midfield Georgi Hristov hit a corner kick and found Maicon Santos for the goal.

Alas, it would not stand. For the second straight game, things slipped away in the late going. This time, the team lost Santos in the 73rd minute, defender Stefan Antonjevic in the 89th and Hristov in the final moments

The Rowdies are home for the next two weeks, playing FC Edmonton on Saturday and the Atlanta Silverbacks the following week.

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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