Hristov leads Rowdies to another win

by Gary Shelton on May 14, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Georgi Hristov sets up the shot to score and give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead./STEVEN MUNCIE

Georgi Hristov sets up the shot to score and give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead./STEVEN MUNCIE

Sunday, 2 a.m.

He has played more games for the Rowdies than anyone.

And still, Tampa Bay cannot see enough of Georgi Hristov.

Hristov scored his team-leading fourth goal of the year Saturday night, leading the Rowdies to a 2-0 victory over Louisville. DeShorn Brown also scored for Tampa Bay, while Joe Cole had two assists.

“I knew I was going to make an impact,” Hristov said. “I know it sounds a little bit cocky, but I felt that way. I wasn’t sure if I was going to

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Deshorn Brown looks towards the crowd after scoring./STEVEN MUNCIE

Deshorn Brown looks towards the crowd after scoring./STEVEN MUNCIE

score a goal, but I really believed I had to make an impact because we needed it. … It was a great win against, what I personally think, is one of the best teams in the league.”

Hristov has now scored 42 goals for the Rowdies. He appeared in his 121st game for the Rowdies, a new record.

The win is Tampa Bay’s fifth in six home matches this season. It was the Rowdies’ sixth clean sheet in nine games. Prior to Hristov’s goal, Louisville hadn’t trailed a match all season.

Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell led his team to victory./STEVEN MUNCIE

Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell led his team to victory./STEVEN MUNCIE

“Georgi is a top drawer player,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him and we’re fortunate to have him in our ranks because he could play at the very highest level.”

“In the second half, we felt opportunities would arise because they couldn’t keep pressuring us at the level they were,” Campbell said. “It was nice to get a result against (Louisville.) They took three points off us in the first game and we spoke about how we wanted to get those points back.”

Neill Collins moves the ball down the field./STEVEN MUNCIE

Neill Collins moves the ball down the field./STEVEN MUNCIE

Louisville’s best scoring chance of the night came in the 70th minute when Kyle Smith put a header on target from point-blank range, but Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens got down quickly to make the save at his left-hand post. It was Louisville’s only shot on target all night.

The win saw the Rowdies keep pace with the Charleston Battery atop the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay sits in second place with 17 points, two behind Charleston.

The Rowdies now turn their focus toward the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which begins Tuesday night for Tampa Bay. The Rowdies host Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 in the second round at Al Lang.

Leo Fernandes struggles to keep possession after Davis IV gives pressure./STEVEN MUNCIE

Leo Fernandes struggles to keep possession after Davis IV gives pressure./STEVEN MUNCIE

 

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