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Rowdies

Unbeaten run ends at four matches

Special correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 03:21 PM

FC Tampa Bay's season-long four-game NASL unbeaten streak was snapped Saturday night with a 2-1 road loss to the Atlanta Silverbacks.

After trailing 2-1 at halftime, FC Tampa Bay pressured the Atlanta defense throughout the second half but could not record the equalizer. Forward Mike Ambersley scored the potential game-tying goal in the 61st minute, but an offsides call nullified the equalizer.

Eleven minutes from full time, second-half substitute Tsuyoshi Yoshitake's shot beat Silverbacks goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, but it was headed off the line by Atlanta defender Tyler Ruthven.

Atlanta forward Junior Sandoval opened the scoring in the eighth minute, running onto an errant back pass and beating FC Tampa Bay goalkeeper Jeff Attinella to his left-hand side, nudging the home side ahead.

The Silverbacks doubled the lead through a Ciaran O'Brien header in the 41st minute. Ruthven earned credit for the assist with his long throw-in into the FC Tampa Bay 18-yard box.

FC Tampa Bay forward Aaron King halved the deficit just before halftime, scoring his fifth goal of the season in the 43rd minute. It was King's fourth consecutive game with a goal.

FC Tampa Bay was without coach Ricky Hill for the second consecutive game, while Hill continues his bereavement leave. Assistant coach David Hayes filled in for Hill.

The team also was without captain Frankie Sanfilippo, who had played in every game this season. Sanfilippo did not travel with the team after spending Thursday night in a hospital with symptoms of dehydration. Defender Andres Arango, who captained the NSC Minnesota Stars last season, served as captain for Saturday's match.

Both Hill and Sanfilippo are expected to be available for Wednesday night's home game against FC Edmonton.

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