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Rowdies lose to Jacksonville, still in fourth place

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies lost an opportunity to pull further ahead into fourth place in the combined NASL Standings Saturday night.

The Rowdies lost 2-0 to Jacksonville, but remained in fourth place after Fort Lauderdale – two points behind – lost a 5-2 decision to Minnesota.

Tampa Bay peppered Jacksonville goaltender Miguel Garrardo at times, but could not coax the ball into the net against the Armada. Jacksonville entered the game on a scoreless streak of 438 minutes, but scored the eventual winning goal in the 34th minute.

“We spoke before the game that we wanted consistency,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “We don’t want to win a game, then lose, then draw, then win again and then lose again. I wanted us to win, and if we couldn’t win, then draw at worst.”

But despite several opportunities, the Rowdies were unable to score, and Pascal Millien iced the game with his goal in the 74th minute.

“We dominated a large spell in the first half and had lots of chances,” Campbell said. “It’s disappointing we couldn’t convert at least one of them. Gallardo probably feels he’s due a performance like that against us. He made three or four very, very nice saves. We’ve got to pick ourselves up now.

The Rowdies now play a Wednesday night game against the Indy 11.

“We’ve got a game in a few days against Indy,” Campbell said. “We don’t have to wait a week to play again and put this performance right. As a coach or a player, we know we missed an opportunity tonight, so the last thing we want to do is brood on this for a week. We now have a good chance to turn it around quickly.”

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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