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Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated by Carolina Railhawks on two penalty kicks

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies continued to have problems finishing on their offense Saturday night.

This time, however, the defense faltered, as well.

The Rowdies lost a 4-1 decision to the Carolina Railhawks. The Rowdies played without Neill Collins and Tamika Mkandawire, who had played every minute of the season. Even worse, backups Stefan Antonijevic ad Frankie Sanfilippo each committed fouls that let to successful penalty kicks by Carolina.

“[We’re] obviously disappointed with the result,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “Obviously to lose 4-1, it’s a big signal for us.”

The Railhawks outscored Tampa Bay 3-0 in the second half.

“We knew [Collins and Mkandawire] were going to be big misses for us,” Campbell said. “Defensively we’ve been very good this season and they’ve been a big component of that. We still shouldn’t concede four goals.”

Matt Fondy’s header gave Carolina a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute. Georgi Hristov scored his fifth goal to tie things, however, on a penalty kick.

The Railhawks got their first penalty kick in the 55th minute, however, when Brian Shriver scored. Four minutes later, Nazmi Albadawi scored with a shot off the left post. Albadawki scored again in the 71st minute.

The Rowdies play Puerto Rico FC next Saturday night at home. The following week, they play the New York Cosmos at home.

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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