Rowdies suffer late defeat against Charlotte

by Gary Shelton on April 23, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Joe Cole celebrates after scoring against Charleston./STEVEN MUNCIE

Joe Cole celebrates after scoring against Charleston./STEVEN MUNCIE

Sunday, 2 a.m.

As it turns out, the USL might not be the pushers that Rowdies' fans might have suspected.

The Rowdies lost a 3-2 decision on a late goal to Charlotte Battery. Tampa Bay is 0-2-1 in its last three games after a 3-0 start. Charlotte scored the winning goal in the 89th minute on a goal by Tah Brian Anunga.

“I’m disappointed in the goals that we conceded,” Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. “We’ve been so good defensively home and away this year and the three goals we gave away tonight, that’s not us.”

Playing their third match in eight days, the Rowdies looked fatigued as the minutes ticked along in each half.

Tampa Bay played at Louisville City FC last weekend and on again Wednesday night against FC Cincinnati before returning home to cap a taxing week of travel and games.

 Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Georgi Hristov scored another goal for Rowdies../STEVEN MUNCIE

Georgi Hristov scored another goal for Rowdies../STEVEN MUNCIE

“It was a very tough week for us, playing three games with all the travel,” Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov said. “I think we felt a little tired tonight. Some guys played all 270 minutes in the games. That’s a lot to play with the travel. It’s not an excuse, though. We should have done better.”

Kyle Porter moves the ball down the field./STEVEN MUNCIE

Kyle Porter moves the ball down the field./STEVEN MUNCIE

The Rowdies led 1-0 on Joe Cole's goal and gave up two goals in the last five minutes of the first half. However, Hristov scored in the 62nd minute to tie it.

“I took a gamble,” Campbell said. “I chucked every attacking option I had. We ended up with three strikers on, plus two wide men. We went for it because I would’ve been disappointed if we only got a point at home, so I went for it in the hope of getting three. It didn’t happen.”

As the match wound toward its conclusion, the Rowdies looked likelier to score a game-winning goal only for the Battery to swipe all three points with a late goal.

Pickens saved an 89th minute shot and Rowdies left back Luke Boden stretched to clear the rebound, but could only poke it to the penalty spot, where Tah Brian Anunga was waiting. Anunga placed his shot into the side netting to put Charleston ahead 3-2.

The Rowdies dominated possession, 69.1 percent to 30.9. They had 16 shots to Charleston's 11, and 10 were on goal (to eight for Charlotte).

The loss was the first of the season in a home game. In fact, the Rowdies had won all three of their home games with a clean sheet.

Tampa Bay is now tied for third place in the USL's Eastern Division.

The Rowdies will look to bounce back next weekend when it hosts the Richmond Kickers Saturday night at Al Lang.

Alex Morrell moves the ball for the Rowdies../STEVEN MUNCIE

Alex Morrell moves the ball for the Rowdies../STEVEN MUNCIE

 

Share with:Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: