Stars blank Rowdies in first leg of NASL Championship Series


For the second straight year, Minnesota Stars FC will head to Florida with a two-goal cushion in the NASL Championship Series.

The sixth-seeded Stars won the first leg of the series at home on Saturday night, grabbing a 2-0 upset win over the No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Rowdies as NSC Stadium. Both goals came in the second half, with Amani Walker and Martin Nunez each finding the back of the net to send the 4,642 fans in attendance into a frenzy.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair and although both teams created chances, neither was able to break the deadlock prior to halftime. That changed in the 67th minute when Walker one-timed a shot past Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, and an insurance goal was added in the final minute of stoppage time when Nunez stabbed home a flicked header from Connor Tobin.

If history is any indicator, the Rowdies are in trouble. Minnesota had a two-goal lead after the first leg of last year’s NASL Championship Series and that wound up being enough as the Stars and Ft. Lauderdale Strikers played to a scoreless draw in the second leg in South Florida.

The second leg of this series will be played on Saturday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg. Aggregate goals will determine the winner but if things are level after 90 minutes, there will be a 30-minute extra time. Penalty kicks will follow if the score remains even.

What do you think of the Stars’ upset win over the Rowdies? Do you see Tampa Bay making a series of it in the second leg?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Stuart Wainstock

    It was my first time at a Stars match and I was pretty impressed. The atmosphere at the match was reminiscent of a Timbers match. Lots of families and young couples. The Dark Clouds were an impressive and friendly bunch. The Stars keeper came up clutch over and over. Looking forward to Saturdays result.


  • Minnesota Nice FC

    Who the hell are the Timbers? Never heard of them.

    The Dark Clouds blew the non-existent roof off of that stadium. What a win.


  • AzTeXan

    Minnisota winning is just bad for the NASL. Is 4,500 the total attendance for last weekends game or Minnisota’s total attendance for the season?


      • Dynahoe

        Minnesota has had decent increases in average attendance the last two years.* A reasonable goal for 2013 should be about 3,500 right? Get this team an owner!!!

        *2010: 1374
        2011: 1676
        2012: 2651


    • HooligansFC

      hey aztexann whatever the hell that is.
      i can only assume you are the same asshole bashing the Stars on the San Antonio’s facebook page because of your continued misspelling of Minnesota. Congrats on your attendance success in San Antonio, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a condescending dick. Just because you’re star player decided to fuck you team out of the playoffs doesn’t mean the Stars don’t deserve to be right where they are. 90 minutes away from a REPEAT Championship. keep your little teakettle for playing the best for the season. might i remind you, the last 10 games of your season was a constant decline of how awful the Scorpions are long term. We’ll take the Soccer Bowl back to MINN E SOTA where it belongs.


  • Thundergunner

    A great game! Really end-to-end action with a really fun atmosphere. This is what soccer is about!


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