By TRAVIS CLARK
The wait for A.C. St. Louis' first win had been four agonizing games. Fortunately, the fifth time proved to be the charm Saturday evening, as St. Louis delivered in front of a home crowd.
With listless and fellow bottom-dwellers Crystal Palace Baltimore coming to town, the chance was now for St. Louis to put an end to the losing streak and post a first-ever win. The brand-new club came through in front of a crowd of 2,985, behind Manuel Kante's goal just 52 seconds into the game.
Goalie Alec Dufty took care of the rest, holding Baltimore at bay for the remaining 89 minutes to earn his first shutout in a St. Louis uniform and a 1-0 win.
Here's a look at the rest of the action from a busy weekend in the USSF D-2 league:
ROWDIES SNATCH DRAW WITH LATE EQUALIZER
Miami and Tampa Bay rekindled a rivalry over the weekend, and a wild and petulant game between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw. Christian Gomez opened his Miami FC account as the home side earned a first half lead. On the other side of the break, Gomez went from hero to goat, earning a red card for a poorly timed challenge on Aaron Wheeler. Tampa Bay tried to take advantage, but were thwarted by Miami goalie Caleb Peterson-Sewell, who kept a clean sheet until Julian Valentin broke through in the 82nd minute. Even with a second wind after scoring the late goal, there wasn't enough time for the Rowdies to grab a winner.
IMPACT SQUEAK PAST ISLANDERS FOR SEASON'S FIRST WIN
It was a short week for Montreal after their mid-week tilt against Toronto, but the Impact dug deep and bested Puerto Rico to win their first game of the season. It was a low scoring matchup, settled by a first half goal by Filipe Soares. Puerto Rico goalie Bill Gaudette frustrated Montreal, but didn't get the offensive help he needed for the Islanders to get anything from their long trip north of the border. The 1-0 win will do just fine for Montreal, snapping a regular-season skid against Puerto Rico and sending their fans home happy for the first time in 2010.
AZTEX TAKE DOWN TEN-MAN MINNESOTA
After a rather poor Wednesday performance, Minnesota hoped to bounce back Saturday with the Aztex visiting. A bright start and a 1-0 lead broke down quickly for Minnesota when defender Daniel Wasson was sent off for denying an Austin goal scoring opportunity. Joe Warren saved Wasson's bacon — for the time being — by denying Eddie Johnson from the spot, but the lead wouldn't stand up. Johnson atoned for his miss with a 75th minute equalizer, getting on the end of a Jay Needham cross to best Warren. An Austin gaffe eliminated their man advantage when Joey Worthen received his marching orders after retaliating from a hard challenge. Despite Worthen's poor decision, the Aztex came away 2-1 winners thanks to a Jamie Watson goal in the 83rd minute.
RHINOS TIE RAILHAWKS IN HOME OPENER
Rochester had endured a long and winding road to the start of their 2010 campaign, and relief from the drudgery of a hectic schedule came Saturday night. It was Rochester's home opener, the first chance to play in front of a friendly crowd all season. A win was in sight after a strong and composed first half, and the Rhinos had a 1-0 lead on a Troy Roberts goal. Controversy struck in the second half, however, as Carolina earned a dubious penalty. Frankie Sanfilippo was adjudged to have fouled Carolina attacker Sallieu Bundu. Railhawk Etienne Barbara dispatched the spot kick, and Rochester couldn't answer back — leaving honors even at 1-1.
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