Tampa Bay Rowdies earn valuable point in 2-2 draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds

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

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

New Tampa Bay Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins saw his team draw 2-2 at home to Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday evening at Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg in his first ever match as the man in charge.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

In a turbulent week that saw Stuart Campbell ousted as Head Coach, the Rowdies made the perfect start for the new regime as they scored the opening goal in the 3rd minute as Alex Morrell, playing his first match of the season, received a short corner from Marcel Schäfer and played it into the penalty box.  Lance Rozeboom (pictured below right) stuck out a boot to redirect the ball onto target and Dan Lynd, in the Riverhounds goal, was unable to prevent the ball slipping into the net.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

It was the kind of night where defensive mistakes would come to the fore and Pittsburgh would find a way back into the game when Rowdies right back Max Lachowecki put through his own net in the 20th minute. Riverhounds forward Romeo Parkes got behind the Tampa defence and and fired a powerful shot that rebounded off Rowdies keeper Akira Fitzgerald high into the air. The ball bounced perilously towards the empty net and Lachowecki made a hash of a clearance as he mis-kicked and saw the ball bounce off his shin into the net.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The Riverhounds then went ahead nine minutes later as Parkes gathered a through ball from midfielder Kenardo Forbes and finished low to the right hand side to give his side a 2-1 lead. A few moments later Tampa Bay appeared to get the equalizer but Morrell’s finish from a Schäfer was ruled offside.

Half Time: Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

After the break, Rowdies captain Joe Cole leveled things up from a direct free kick just outside the penalty box on the left hand side.  Taking the free kick in the 59th minute, the 36-year-old veteran drilled a right-footed, low shot on target that went through Lynd’s hands and then between his legs into the net.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The Rowdies then stepped up the pace and went close on several occasions and only a superb save by Lynd in the dying moments prevented the home side from taking the three points. The 6,202 fans present saw Junior Flemmings rise high to powerfully head a Schäfer cross goalward only for Lynd to pull off an extraordinary point blank save in turning the ball over the cross bar.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The save made amends for the earlier mistake and ensured the visitors extended its club-record unbeaten streak to commence a season to nine matches. The Rowdies meanwhile snapped a three game losing streak and now heads to Toronto to face Toronto FC II next Saturday afternoon.

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2, Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida - 19th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

After the game Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins (pictured above) said: “Those lads tonight tried to do everything I asked. At times, it worked. At times, it didn’t, but the most important thing is that they were trying to implement specific things I asked. We’ll not be celebrating too many ties, we could of won it, we could’ve lost it, but we went for it. At the end of the day, that’s what football is all about.”

The next home game for the Rowdies is against Atlanta United 2 on Saturday 2nd June at Al Lang Stadium. Kick off: 7.30pm

For tickets, call (727) 222-2000 or click here.

Starting Lineups
Rowdies XI (4-3-3): GK Akira Fitzgerald; D Max Lachowecki, Hunter Gorskie, Ivan Magalhães, Zac Portillos; M Lance Rozeboom, Joe Cole (c) (Michael Nanchoff 72′), Marcel Schäfer; F Alex Morrell (Junior Flemmings 61′), Georgi Hristov (Jochen Graf 76′), Sebastian Guenzatti

Pittsburgh XI (3-5-2): GK Dan Lynd; D Todd Partner, Hugh Roberts, Thomas Vancaeyezeele; M Jordan Dover, Raymond Lee, Ben Zemanski (Tobi Adewole 80′), Kenardo Forbes, Christiano Francois; F Kevin Kerr (c) (Joseph Holland 81′), Romeo Parkes (Nico Brett 80′)

Attendance: 6,202

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

One Response to Tampa Bay Rowdies earn valuable point in 2-2 draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds

  1. Thank you, Nigell! These are terrific!

    Mary Karnstedt
    May 20, 2018 at 9:54 am

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