ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Minnesota United FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies finished in a 3-3 draw on Saturday and that was enough to clinch the North American Soccer League Spring Title.
The United got out to an early lead when Justin Davis looped the ball past Rowdies goalkeeper Cody Mizell in just the 12th minute. The goal was Davis' first of the season.
In the 33rd minute, 2013 NASL MVP Georgi Hristov dinked the ball across goal setting up Rowdies teammate Blake Wagner. He had too much time and space, and volleyed the ball past United goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt.
In first half stoppage time, Rowdies forward Lucky Mkosana got behind the United defense. Hildebrandt charged off his line, but the Tampa forward calmly tucked it underneath to put the Rowdies up 2-1.
Minnesota came out in the second half with a flurry of chances. The Loons evened the score in the 57th minute on a goal by Jamie Watson.
Just four minutes later, Minnesota struck again, this time after a perfect pass from Christian Ramirez who set up Miguel Ibarra for the goal and the 3-2 lead.
Tampa earned a corner kick in the 74th minute. The kick eluded the United defense and hit Rowdies captain Frank Sanfilippo in the shoulder -- the ball squeaked pas Hildebrandt for the tie.
The United held on for the tie which was enough to clinch the 2014 Spring Title.
For more information and tickets, go to www.mnunitedfc.com.