Rowdies Get Kicked In The Grass By Toros, 2-0

Mike Cobb
Date Published: 
Lakeland Ledger

TAMPA — Usually in soccer, when a team outshoots the other team 20-6, it has a good chance of winning.

No so in the case of the Tampa Bay Rowdies' game against the Miami Toros, Wednesday night at Tampa Stadium.

The Toros managed to get only six shots at the goal all night, but made good on two of them to top the Rowdies 2-0 and move back into first place in the Eastern Division of the North American Soccer League.

An exceptionally large crowd of 18,654, second largest in the history of the NASL, turned out to see the game and saw the Rowdies dominate the game in every department except scoring.

The Rowdies just couldn't put the ball in the goal.

However, coach Eddie Firmiani felt like there was another problem.

"I didn't feel our attitude was right going into the game. I think maybe we were a little over-confident. We just didn't do the little things we should have, and we didn't put the ball in the goal," said Firmiani after his team's second loss of the year.

Tampa controlled the game right from the start and kept control throughout the first half. The Rowdies had nine shots on goal to the Toros' one in the first half, which ended 0-0.

But the Rowdies should have had to goals in the first half and nobody knows that better than the two who should have scored them — Derek Smethurst and John Scissons.

"We should have those two goals in the first half," said Smethurst. "When you get chances to score, you've got to put the ball away, and we didn't."

Smethurst had an excellent scoring chance early in the game on a breakaway bit his shot was saved by Miami goalie Osvaldo Toriani.

Then about two minutes before the end of the first half, Scissons had his chance on another breakaway, but Toriani was there again to make the save.

"It's hard to explain, when you miss them, you miss them and that's all there is to it," said Scissons, who played the game with a bad toe that eventually took him out of action.

"I don't think it (the toe) had an effect on the game early. I had a shot before the game started, but then it wore off," Scissons said.

In the second half, Miami's Steve David, the league's leading scorer, added to his point total with one of the goals, and an assist on the other.

The first goal came at 49:11 into the game when David scored on a pass from Warren Archibald. The goal was only Miami's second shot the whole night.

David then picked up an assist on a pass to Kip Jordan, who scored the Toros' second goal at 79:36 into the game.

Smethurst probably summed the game best saying, "You've got to put the ball in the goal when you get the chance and we didn't do that. Then when they got the chance, they put it in the goal, and that's what the game's all about."

The win for Miami avenges its 1-0 loss to Tamps Friday night in Miami, and also moves the Toros back into first place with 68 points. The Rowdies are just two points behind with 66. Both teams have 8-2 records.

Also unlike the game in Miami, this one was clean with tempers being kept cool. The contest in Miami featured several fights, including two ejections.

Wednesday night, both teams kept their tempers, helping Miami regain first place.

Miami       0 2—2
Tampa       0 0—0

Goals — David (assist Archibald) 49:11; Jordan (assist David) 79:36.
Fouls — Miami 14, Tampa 11
Saves — Hewitt (T) 6, Toriani (M) 3.
Attendance — 18,654