The Minnesota Stars dropped to fourth place on the NASL table following a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday at St. Petersburg. The loss spoiled a record-setting performance by goalkeeper Matt VanOekel.
The Stars were outshot 19-18 by the Rowdies, who defeated Minnesota for the second time in 14 days. The Stars fell 2-1 to Tampa in Blaine on June 16th.
VanOekel recorded 10 saves in the loss, and was able to keep the game level at 0-0 heading into the half, despite all of the offensive pressure the Rowdies were supplying.
Tampa finally chalked one up on the score board in the 55th minute, as Mike Ambersley put in a header to finish a brilliant cross from Luke Mulholland.
Rowdies forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake put the game away in the 88th minute, when he beat VanOekel from the near post with a left footed finish to make it 2-0 Tampa Bay.
Minnesota had their chances throughout the match. Miguel Ibarra hit the crossbar from 40 yards out in the 27th minute. In the 57th minute, Martin Nunez also hit the bar on his heading attempt.
This is the third time in the last six games that the Stars have failed to find the net.
“We played a good game, but we need to get better moving forward,” said Stars coach Manny Lagos told Alex Haueter.
For the rest of Haueter’s article, click here.
The Stars now sit five points behind the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions. They will take on the Puerto Rico Islanders on the Fourth of July at NSC Stadium.