Rowdies erupt in second half for big win

by Gary Shelton on April 8, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Rowdies

Fernandes scored two goals to lead the Rowdies./CARMEN MANDATO

Fernandes scored two goals to lead the Rowdies./CARMEN MANDATO

Sunday, 7 a.m.

Fernandez scored twice in eight minutes./CARMEN MANDATO

Fernandes scored twice in eight minutes./CARMEN MANDATO

How do you snap back from a disappointing defeat? How do re-establish yourself as a contender?

Well, like this.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies clobbered the Ottawa Fury Saturday night, scoring a modern record win in a 5-0 decision. All the goals were scored in the second half. Two were by Leo Fernandes and one each by Georgi Hristov, Joe Cole and Zac Portillos.

The Rowdies are now 3-1 on the season.

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Hristov now has three goals for the season./CARMEN MANDATO

Hristov now has three goals for the season./CARMEN MANDATO

“We sort of anticipated (a second half like that),” Tampa Bay coach Stuart Campbell said. “We spoke about it in the preparation leading up to the game that the key word was going to be ‘patience.’ We knew how well organized Ottawa were and they we couldn’t really force it.  In the second half, we were very, very clinical.”

Joe Cole scored his first goal of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

Joe Cole scored his first goal of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

Hristov provided the opening goal, heading a Marcel Schäfer cross past Callum Irving to put the Rowdies up 1-0. It was Hristov’s third goal of the season and he now trails Derek Smethurst by only one goal for the all-time Rowdies scoring record of 57 goals.

“I think we had a great game,” Hristov said. “If I can say anything about my goal, it’s just that that cross from Marcel, I just knew it was coming. I had to pick the right spot.”

Fernandes took over after that, scoring a goal in the 71st minute and another in the 79th for a 3-0 lead.

Portillos scored his first goal as a professional./CARMEN MANDATO

Portillos scored his first goal as a professional./CARMEN MANDATO

"Usually when you’re on the endline, they expect you to cross it,” Fernandes said. “I put in a couple crosses earlier, so I tried to fake him out and shoot it right away and it went in. Coach (Campbell) says to be patient because that’s how it’s going to be this season. We should have most of the possession and when we have our chances, we have to finish them.”

Cole made it 4-0 in the 87th minute, finishing a pass from Jack Blake for his first goal of the season.

Portillos scored his first professional goal to finish things , heading a cross from Fernandes.

The Rowdies travel to New York Red Bulls II next Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. before returning home to host defending Western Conference Champions Real Monarchs SLC at Al Lang at 7 p.m. the following Saturday.

 

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