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Rowdies’ Keith Savage provides game-tying goal in stoppage time

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With their season on the brink, the Tampa Bay Rowdies turned to their favorite Savage Wednesday night.

The Rowdies earned a crucial 2-2 draw late Wednesday night when Keith Savage scored the equalizer in stoppage time. Tampa Bay trailed Minnesota United FC until Savage’s goal.

“I was in the right spot at the right time,” Savage said of his goal. “It could have fallen to anyone. We were pushing for that goal and I’m really glad we got it. It means we’re still in it, right there in the hunt for the playoffs. It’s going to be a battle to the last game.”

Minnesota took a lead twice in the match with goals in the 17th and 51st minutes via Christian Ramirez and J.C. Banks. But Georgi Hristov tied the game with his ninth goal of the season in the 31st minute, leading to Savage’s tying goal.

“We couldn’t quite get going in the second half,” Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. “Once again, the boys showed terrific spirit, heart and commitment. The fans dragged us over the line and kept us going right into the 95th minute and fortunately, we were able to get away with a point.”

The draw means that Tampa Bay and Minnesota move ahead of Miami in the tie for fourth place.

“If we don’t win, (we make sure) we don’t lose,” Savage said. “We know that every point counts and that’s been our motto. We want three points at home, but we’re very thankful for that point.”

Now, the Rowdies face another tough test, against FC Edmonton on Sunday afternoon. Tampa Bay then heads to Miami to face Miami FC on October 14 before hosting the Indy Eleven on October 19 in its next home game.

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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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