St. Louis, MO – Saint Louis FC stormed to a 4-3 victory in front of 4,001 at Toyota Stadium in Week 22 of the USL regular season. The team is back at Toyota Stadium this Saturday, August 19th at 7:30pm to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The game started fast and furious with five goals in the opening 36 minutes. Saint Louis jumped to an early 2-0 lead through Daniel Jackson and Seth Rudolph but Tampa Bay answered with goals from Marcel Schafer, Georgi Hristov, and Martin Paterson to take the lead going into halftime. Saint Louis FC would equalize in the 67th minute through Rudolph again before Konrad Plewa earned the win with a goal in the 89th minute to claim all three points in the crucial Eastern Conference match.
The first half saw Saint Louis open the scoring in the 2nd minute as Jackson was played through by captain Ivan Mirkovic and he slotted past Tampa Bay Rowdies goalkeeper and St. Louis-native Matt Pickens for his second goal since joining the team in July. The home side would soon double their advantage in the 5th minute as Rudolph was slipped past the defense with a ball from Emmanuel Appiah for his second goal of the season. Tampa Bay responded swiftly with a goal from Schafer in the 10th minute before Hristov leveled the match in the 16th minute. It looked like It would not be Saint Louis FC’s night as Tampa Bay took the lead in the 36th minute with a bullet header off Paterson from a Kyle Porter cross to give Tampa Bay the 3-2 advantage at halftime.
The second half started without the frenetic pace of the first half but Saint Louis maintained pressure for the equalizer. It would arrive in the 67th minute as Dragan Stojkov picked up the ball and found the head of Rudolph with the cross for his second goal of the night. The game would take a turn in the 85th minute as Damion Lowe from Tampa Bay received his second yellow card to be ejected and give Saint Louis the man advantage for the final minutes. The home side would seize that advantage in the 89th minute as a corner was played outside the box to Mirkovic and his shot deflected off the foot of Plewa for his first goal of the year. The game would finish 4-3 and moves Saint Louis FC to 12th place in the Eastern Conference as 11th place Pittsburgh Riverhounds visit on Saturday.