Rowdies avenge loss with 2-1 win over Strikers

click to enlarge Midfielder Luke Mulholland (left) and forward Lucky Mkosana (right) celebrates Rowdies' 2-1 victory over Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday night. - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Midfielder Luke Mulholland (left) and forward Lucky Mkosana (right) celebrates Rowdies' 2-1 victory over Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday night.
  • Tampa Bay Rowdies
  • Midfielder Luke Mulholland (left) and forward Lucky Mkosana (right) celebrates Rowdies' 2-1 victory over Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday night.

After losing 2-1 to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Oct. 5, the Tampa Bay Rowdies wanted to avenge their defeat at home Sat., Oct. 12, at Al Lang Stadium against their in-state rival, which they did with a 2-1 victory to clinch fourth consecutive Coastal Cup, the first time at home.

The Rowdies started the game with a goal at the 14th minute when forward Lucky Mkosana ran behind several Strikers defenders to receive a pass from forward Etienne Barbara, kicking the ball into the back of the net to put them up 1-0.

Both teams created several chances in the first half, with the Strikers looking to tie the game. That opportunity came at the 38 minute when Strikers’ Yaikel Perez ran down the right flank, passed the ball into the middle of the box to teammate Martin Nunez where he kicked the ball passed goalkeeper Diego Restrepo to tie it at 1-1.

Entering the second half, the Rowdies looked for the goal that would lead them to them win with midfielder Keith Savage being fouled by Pecka inside the box at the 74th minute and was awarded a penalty kick. Luke Mulholland capitalized on the call and placed his kick in the bottom left corner of the net to make it 2-1.

The remaining 15 minutes of the match was played in midfield with several players picking up cards such as Rowdies’ Diego Restrepo picking up one at the 82nd minute.

With the victory, the Rowdies are seven points behind leader New York Cosmos at 17 points. They are back Sat., Oct. 19 at home against the San Antonio Scorpions at 7:30 p.m.