[NASL: Tampa Bay-Minnesota] The Tampa Bay Rowdies were crowned 2012 NASL champions thanks to a shootout win over the defending champion Minnesota Stars in front of a sellout crowd of 6,208 Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies' 3-1 win erased Minnesota's 2-0 lead, and NASL Best XI goalie Jeff Attinella then won the shootout with three saves. Tampa Bay prevailed despite finishing with 10 men when Shane Hill, son of Coach Ricky Hill, was ejected in the 90th minute.
Midfielder Keith Savage set up forward Carl Cort and scored a goal himself to pull the Rowdies even.
But only a minute after Savage's goal, Argentine midfielder Lucas Rodriguez scored to put the Stars up with a 3-2 aggregate score.
Six minutes after entering the game, forward Daniel Antoniukscored in the 86th minute to make the score 3-1 for the evening and 3-3 over two games.
Attinella, who attended nearby Countryside High school and played for the Clearwater Chargers and the University of South Florida, took over in goal for Tampa Bay early last season when starter Daryl Sattlerwas injured.
In 2012, Attinella was the runner-up behind San Antonio's Pablo Campos in voting for the NASL MVP award.
Oct. 28 in Tampa
Tampa Bay 3 Minnesota 1.Goals: Cort (Savage) 25, Savage (Arango) 31, Antoniuk (Ambersley) 86; Rodriguez (Ibarra) 52.
Aggregate:3-3 (Tampa Bay wins 3-2 in shootout.)
Tampa Bay --Attinella, Sanfilippo. Rodrigues (Cox 36), Scott, Arango, Campbell (Picault 59), Hill, Savage (Antoniuk, 80), Mulholland, Cort, Ambersley
Minnesota --VanOekel, Kallman, Altman, Tobin, Davis, Hlavaty, Takada (Nunez 59), Watson (Rodriguez 45), Ibarra, Bracalello, Walker (Del Do 115)
Red Card:Tampa Bay -- Hill 90.