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Rowdies close in on playoff spot

  • The Rowdies’ 2-2 draw at Bethlehem on Wednesday was the kind of game that would invoke easy recall of bad feelings, even if a rematch was not for another six months.
  • A win clinches a playoff spot, something Tampa Bay hasn’t done in five years.
  • Bethlehem committed 20 fouls Wednesday, compared to 11 for Tampa Bay.
  • Burke, who received a yellow card, stayed in the game to score Bethlehem’s first goal early in the second half.
  • Tampa Bay went back on top as Hunter Gorskie, a defender acquired a month after the Rowdies lost standout Damian Lowe to a Norwegian team, continued his scoring prowess with a finish off Marcel Schafer’s free kick.

ST. PETERSBURG — It went beyond physical to one of their key players getting injured and possibly out for the season due to the aggressiveness of the opponent’s tackles.

ST. PETERSBURG — It went beyond physical to one of their key players getting injured and possibly out for the season due to the aggressiveness of the opponent’s tackles.

The Rowdies’ 2-2 draw at Bethlehem on Wednesday was the kind of game that would invoke easy recall of bad feelings, even if a rematch was not for another six months.

Conveniently enough, it will end up being just three days.

Tampa Bay plays the Steel tonight. And the Rowdies will have more than just the motivation of having lost midfielder Michael Nanchoff to a nasty ankle injury.

A win clinches a playoff spot, something Tampa Bay hasn’t done in five years.

“That’s what we’re aiming for. We want to get that playoff spot,” defender Darnell King said. “We know what this team (Bethlehem) is about now, and we’re coming in to expect to win.”

Bethlehem committed 20 fouls Wednesday, compared to 11 for Tampa Bay. The one that has Nanchoff officially “week-to-week” required an air cast to be applied on the field: Bethlehem’s Cory Burke charged full speed into Nanchoff, whose legs buckled from the impact.

Burke, who received a yellow card, stayed in the game to score Bethlehem’s first goal early in the second half. Tampa Bay went back on top as Hunter Gorskie,…

Rowdies close in on playoff spot

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