All of the superlatives and commendations I was prepared to type in adoration of the match FC Tampa Bay played were torn from my throat seconds from Tampa Bay’s second win of the season. That win would dematerialize with a demoralizing FC Edmonton equalizer in stoppage time forcing the green and gold to settle for a draw in a game they sorely deserved to win.
The first half was dominated by midfield play. Neither team really dominated possession; meanwhile the majority of the shots taken were insubstantial and not particularly worrisome to either team. FC Tampa Bay’s Tsuyoshi Yoshitake had a quality chance right at the end of the half, but wasn’t able to slot it in past FC Edmonton’s keeper. The first half ended in a scoreless tie.
The second half was handily dominated by the home team. Were it not for the late equalizer, the story of the game would have been Tampa Bay’s tackling, which was masterful. They were aggressive and physical and held possession leading to a number of scoring chances. One of those chances, a Pascal Millien headed cross into the box, ended in Chad Burt’s first goal of the season.
The way the defense was playing that goal seemed like it would be the game winner, and FC Tampa Bay would finally get back into the win column for the first time since opening night.
FC Edmonton’s Chris Kooy, however, would completely and utterly suck the energy out of Progress Energy Park. Less than a minute before full time was called he was able to catch the the defense off-guard and slot home a painful equalizer which kept Jeff Attinella from his first professional shutout and FC Tampa Bay from winning, yet again.
Tampa Bay now falls to 1-2-3 on the season and Edmonton stole its first draw now standing at 3-1-2.
Their next match is at hated rival FC Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday. Rumor is that Ralph’s Mob will be taking a bus down there, so listen closely for some home-crowd cheers while watching on FCTampaBay.com.