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Postgame quotes from the Stars and Rowdies

Not surprisingly, the Minnesota Stars were over the moon, post-game, while the Tampa Bay Rowdies were a little more down and philosophical. Said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill, "At one-nil we felt, okay, we're comfortable, we're not feeling too bad. But then we gave an unnecessary corner away, and suddenly it's in the back of our net. Tough to take, we're two-nil down and I don't think we deserved to be two-nil down on the balance of play tonight. But it is what it is, and we've got ninety minutes to rectify that next week."

"We've got ninety minutes of football left – anything can happen in football."

On the flip side, Stars keeper and man of the match Matt Van Oekel could hardly stop smiling. "This is my first finals that I've got to play in. It felt right. Everything was clicking for the group of guys. I couldn't be happier right now."

"That second goal is absolutely enormous for us going down to Tampa, because they play extremely well at home, and we know they're going to be coming after us the next ninety minutes. It's gonna be crazy. They've got a really small, short field. The way they play is very direct, and if they play like that all the time they're going to be dropping the ball into the box the entire game. It's going to be a wild ninety minutes down in Tampa. I hope we come out like we did last year, and take it home, and bring back the cup."

Assistant coach Carl Craig was full of praise for his two center backs. "You see Kyle Altman, the last couple of games, he's on bloody fire. He's a monster. It's amazing, he's one of the quietest lads in the locker room, but you see him on the field when it comes to the big game, he ramps it up. [Connor] Tobin, he's probably the toughest guy in the team, he didn't put a foot wrong. He's in there, he's attacking. You look at [Rowdies forward] Carl Cort and you look at his experience – Champions League footballer, Premier League footballer - but these lads handled him very comfortably tonight."

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.