[NASL SOCCER BOWL] The Minnesota Stars moved closer to repeating as NASL champions as the No. 6 seed with a 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies, snapping their
eight-game unbeaten streak. Amani Walker and Martin Nunez scored second-half goals for the Stars
Tampa Bay dictated the tempo in much of the first half, but Stars goalkeeper Mike VanOekel kept the Rowdies at bay.
Minnesota took the lead in the 67th minute, when Walker blasted his shot into the top left corner of the net after receiving a pass from Italian Simone Bracalello.
Minnesota extended the lead to two goals in stoppage time when Nunez put away Connor Tobin's cross into the Rowdies' box.
The Rowdies will host Minnesota in the second leg on Saturday at Al Lang Stadium.
Oct. 20 in Blaine, Minn.
Minnesota 2 Tampa Bay 0. Goals: Walker (Bracalello) 67, Nunez (Tobin) 90.
Tampa Bay -- Attinella, Sanfilippo, Scott, Rodrigues, Arango, Campbell, Hill, Savage (Frimpong 80), Mulholland, Ambersley, Cort (Antoniuk 75).
Minnesota -- VanOekel, Davis, Altman, Tobin, Kallman, Watson, Hlavaty, Takada, Ibarra, Walker (Nunez 76), Bracalello.
Referee: Kevin Terry Jr.