Keith Savage scored in stoppage time to give host Tampa Bay a 2-2 tie with Minnesota United FC on Wednesday night. Savage’s goal came on a shot from the center of the box.
The Loons, who have only one road win this season in the NASL, led twice in the game but couldn’t hold either one.
“We shot ourselves in the foot again, we had good opportunities to seal it — given the chances we had at 2-1 — to turn it over as we did in those situations is disappointing,” United coach Carl Craig. “We regrouped in the second half when [J.C.] Banks got the goal and we were comfortable. Disappointing to leave with only a point.”
The Rowdies resorted to playing the ball high into the box from midfield in the extra time, while the Loons defended vigorously. In the third minute of stoppage time, the Rowdies caught their break with the ball falling at the feet of Savage, who put it away.
Christian Ramirez scored in the 17th minute to make it 1-0. The goal extended his lead on top of the scorer’s list to two with his 16th goal of the season; he had not scored since Sept. 17 when he made a penalty kick.
Banks added a goal six minutes into the second half to make it 2-1. Triple-teamed, Banks took a touch away from net then turned and put a low shot through the goalkeeper’s legs.
In between those United goals, the Rowdies got a goal from Georgi Hristov in the 31st minute. Tampa Bay had a 14-9 edge in shots, but the Loons had more shots on goal, 5-4.
Sammy Ndjock had two saves for United, Matt Pickens three for the Rowdies.
United and Tampa Bay still are tied for fourth place in the combined season standings, which is the final playoff spot, with 37 points. But the Loons, who are 0-4-1 in their past five matches, have the tiebreaker, with their 4-2 advantage in goal differential.
The Rowdies have a game in hand over United, which has only four regular-season matches left. And Miami FC is lurking just a point behind Tampa Bay and Minnesota and also has played one less match than the Loons.