Tampa Bay Rowdies and Miami FC battle to scoredraw

Filed under: Florida News,Sport,Tampa Bay Rowdies |

Tampa Bay Rowdies and  Miami FC and played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg. Forward Sebastian Velasquez had put Miami up 1-0 early in the first half, but the Rowdies would equalize in the second half off a goal from forward Lucky Mkosana.

Rowdies coach Neill Collins applauded his team’s overall effort, though a span of three games in nine days had clearly sapped some of Tampa Bay’s normal zest.

“I think there was a little bit of sluggishness, particularly early on,” Collins said. “We can’t use the game on Wednesday as too much of an excuse, but if anyone travels on a bus for 14 hours (to and from Atlanta), it takes its toll. Half the season complete now, would have been nice to get a win tonight, but it wasn’t to be. If we do improve the next eight games, we’ll be in a good spot.”

Newly appointed Miami Head Coach Paul Dalglish was also satisfied with his teams efforts, “Every game that goes past we’re getting closer and closer to being where we want to be. We saw improvements in the performance and you can start seeing this can be very exciting team to watch. We take the result to increase our confidence, but we are also very hungry to keep improving. If we keep improving, with the talent we have, we will be a very dangerous team.”

The Miami FC were much the better team in the first half and deserved their 1-0 lead after just seven minutes as Velasquez opened the scoring.  The Colombian received a through ball from forward Prince Saydee and fired a pin point shot past Rowdies goalkeeper Evan Louro to the far post.

After the goal, Miami FC continued to push to extend their lead, applying pressure on the Rowdies defensive third. Opportunities for the Rowdies were few and far between but Juan Tejada might have done better after beating the Miami back line before allowing Miami FC goalkeeper Bryant Gammiero  to make a simple save.

Velasquez then had a chance to double the lead in the 29th minute, but this time his shot went straight to Louro, who punched the ball out of danger.

The second half began with the Rowdies pushing Miami onto the back foot in search of the equalizer. It came just moments before the hour mark as midfielder Malik Johnson curled a ball into the heart of the box and Mkosana was able to head past a diving Gammiero.

“Defensively, we showed a togetherness and our players fought for each other,” commented Dalglish. “It was really important we secured a point in one of the most difficult places to play in the USL Championship. In the second half we got pinned back, which is understandable, but going forward we need to work on attacking a lead instead of protecting it.”

Up next, the Rowdies host Atlanta United 2 on 22nd August while Miami play the same opposition this Wednesday, August 19.

Miami FC (4-3-3) – GK Bryant Gammiero; D Marco Franco, Lance Rozeboom, Brenton Griffiths (Hassan Ndam 41′), Othello Bah; M Brian James (Tomas Granitto 63′), Harrison Heath, Vincent Bezecourt; F Sebastian Velasquez, Romario Williams (Mohamed Thiaw 63′), Prince Saydee

Tampa Bay (3-5-2) – GK Evan Louro; D Jordan Scarlett, Forrest Lasso, Aaron Guillen; M Mustapha Dumbuya, Dominic Oduro, Lewis Hilton, Jordan Doherty (Yann Ekra 46′),  Malik Johnson; F Kevin Mendoza (Lucky Mkosana 46′), Juan Tejada (Kyle Murphy 79′)

Scoring Summary
Miami: Sebastian Velasquez – 7th minute (Assisted by Prince Saydee)
Tampa Bay: Lucky Mkosana – 59th minute (Assisted by Malik Johnson)

Caution Summary
Tampa Bay: Aaron Guillen – 31st minute
Miami: Othello Bah – 47th minute
Miami: Harrison Heath – 75th minute

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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