Cole’s late penalty kick earns a draw for Rowdies

by Gary Shelton on July 24, 2016 · 0 comments

in Rowdies

Cole ties the game on a penalty shot./ERIC TILLOTSON

Cole ties the game on a penalty shot./ERIC TILLOTSON

Sunday, 5:30 a.m.

Tampa Bay Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell will admit that his team has far too many draws this season, and far too many of them have come in home games.

On a night like Saturday night, however, it's not so bad.

The Rowdies came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with the New York Cosmos Saturday night in a game they trailed 2-0 after 84 minutes. It was a nice

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Cole prepares to attempt his penalty kick./ERIC TILLOTSON

Cole prepares to attempt his penalty kick./ERIC TILLOTSON

salvaging of a point.

Keith Savage forced an own goal in the 84th minute, then Joe Cole scored on a penalty kick in extra time.

"It was a competitive game with two good teams playing with tenacity," Cole said. "It was a great game for the fans to watch and we showed a lot of mettle, but I just feel like we've been on the wrong side of so many decisions. ... We don't seem to be getting any decisions, any breaks, and I don't know why."

Cole had a goal disallowed on a handball in the 57th minute, four minutes after the Cosmos took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Juan Arango. After that, Yasmani Duk made it 2-0 in the 67th minute, and the Rowdies seemed on their way to defeat.

But the Rowdies seem to play well against the old rivals, and this finish was a good one, too.

"I was really excited coming into the game," Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. "When the Rowdies and Cosmos clash, it's a big, big event. There's usually fireworks and there were definitely fireworks tonight, on and off the pitch.

"The fans kept the players going. They could've easily felt sorry for themselves 2-0 down against a good Cosmos team, but the atmosphere in the stadium tonight was probably the best I've ever known it. The fans were unbelievable. You guys lifted the whole stadium. Everybody's got to take credit for that."

Tampa Bay is on the road for two matches next week, visiting Rayo OKC on Wednesday and the Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday. The Rowdies will be without Campbell and assistant coach Raoul Voss in Oklahoma after both were dismissed from Saturday's match.

The Rowdies will be home again Saturday, August 6 to host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Savage fights for the ball and play ends up in an own goal./ERIC TILLOTSON

Savage fights for the ball and play ends up in an own goal./ERIC TILLOTSON

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