Rowdies beat Philadelphia in preseason game

by Gary Shelton on February 25, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Rowdies

Jochen Graf scores the Lightning's first goal./CARMEN MANDATO

Jochen Graf scores the Lightning’s first goal./CARMEN MANDATO

Sunday, 2 p.m.

Graf has two goals in two games./CARMEN MANDATO

Graf has two goals in two games./CARMEN MANDATO

The Tampa Bay Rowdies may be all right, after all.

The Rowdies won their first game of the year Saturday night, beating the Philadelphia Union of the MLS, 2-1, in the Suncoast Invitational Tournament.

The Rowdies got first-half goals from Jochen Graf and Michael Nanchoff to lead their way to the victory. Haris Medunjanin scored in the 84th minute for Philadelphia.

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Nanchoff scored the second goal for the Rowdies./CARMEN MANDATO

Nanchoff scored the second goal for the Rowdies./CARMEN MANDATO

“I think the team put in a really good performance tonight,” Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. “Preseason isn’t necessarily about wins and losses, but winning tonight against a very good team is a nice bonus. The performance is really what I’m proud about though.”

Blake assisted on the Rowdies' first goal./CARMEN MANDATO

Jack Blake assisted on the Rowdies’ first goal./CARMEN MANDATO

In the 19th minute, Tampa Bay midfielder Jack Blake served a ball forward for Graf that led Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to come off his line. With Blake caught in no-man’s land, Graf delicately chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the far netting for his second goal in as many matches.

In the 35th minute, Michael Nanchoff added to the Rowdies’ lead on an assist from David Najem to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead before halftime.

“In the first couple of games, we’ve made a lot of changes at halftime, but we spoke about wanting to get most of the guys at least 60 minutes tonight,” Campbell said. “It can be hard in preseason to go back out for the second half after sitting for 15 minutes, so we wanted to push as many guys as possible.”

The Rowdies open their regular season schedule on March 17 with a trip to North Carolina FC. The match begins at 3:30 p.m.

Junior Flemmings heads a ball for the Rowdies./CARMEN MANDATO

Junior Flemmings follows a ball for the Rowdies./CARMEN MANDATO



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