Rowdies Dominate Richmond 3-0 For Third-Straight Win
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (September 22, 2018) — Three was the magic number for the Tampa Bay Rowdies as they exploded for three second-half goals in a 3-0 win over the Richmond Kickers at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night. It was the Rowdies’ third win in a row.
The match was scoreless at halftime despite a dominant Rowdies performance in the opening 45 minutes. Tampa Bay didn’t need to wait too long to take control in the second half though, with goals in the 49th and 57th minutes from Hunter Gorskie and Jaime Chavez, respectively, to put the match out of reach. Junior Flemmings added the third goal in stoppage time to seal the result.
“It was a great week, but it was only one great week,” Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins said. “We’ve got a lot more to do.”
Tampa Bay’s impressive week, which also included a 1-0 win over Atlanta United 2 last weekend and a 2-1 win over Nashville SC on Tuesday night, breathed serious life into the Rowdies’ late playoff push.
When the match ended, Tampa Bay had moved into 10th place, just one point behind Ottawa Fury FC in the final playoff position. The Rowdies have played one fewer match than the Fury FC.
With so much on the line, the Rowdies (11-12-7, 40 points) looked ready to play right from the opening kickoff. The only real challenge the Rowdies faced in the first half was staying onside. Twice the Rowdies put the ball in the back of the net only to see the offside flag negate the goal.
“It was one of the best first-half performances I’ve seen in my time with the Rowdies, apart from the final finish,” Collins said. “We had two goals ruled out, rightly or wrongly, and we had other opportunities. I thought Poku looked like the best player of the league.”
Six minutes in, Georgi Hristov received a cross from Afrim Taku and beat Kickers goalkeeper Brandon Barnes but Chavez was ruled to have interfered in the play from an offside position and the goal was called off.
In the 25th minute, Kwadwo Poku fed Chavez with a through ball that ultimately ended up in the net, but the offside flag was up again.
Poku himself had a chance in the 30th minute, making an 80-yard run by all of Richmond’s defenders before opting to pass to Chavez. The decision came too late, though, and Barnes was able to dive on the ball.
The offside flag ruled out a third Rowdies goal in the 47th minute, but Tampa Bay’s opener wasn’t too far away.
Gorskie, serving as the Rowdies’ captain on the night, marked the occasion with a simple tap-in on a bouncing ball to put Tampa Bay ahead.
“It’s a pleasure to lead the guys,” Gorskie said. “They’re a committed group, so it’s easy to lead them. It couldn’t have gone any better to be honest — a shutout, 3-0 win and a goal. It was a perfect night for me.”
From there, the Rowdies never looked back, with Chavez doubling the lead just short of the hour mark.
Tampa Bay goalkeeper Daniel Vega made four late saves to notch his third clean sheet in seven matches since joining the Rowdies.
The Rowdies will get right back to work once again for a short week before playing on the road against the Indy Eleven next Wednesday night. They will play their final home game of the season on Saturday, October 6 against the Charlotte Independence. For tickets, call (727) 222-2000 or click here.
Rowdies: Hunter Gorskie - 49th minute (Assisted by Georgi Hristov)
Rowdies: Jaime Chavez - 58th minute (Assisted by Afrim Taku)
Rowdies: Junior Flemmings - 93rd minute (Assisted by Joe Cole)
Richmond: Oscar Umar - 9th minute
Richmond: Neil Hlavaty - 18th minute
Rowdies: Jaime Chavez - 58th minute
Richmond: Mekeil Williams - 87th minute
Rowdies XI (3-5-2): GK Daniel Vega; D Hunter Gorskie (c), Papé Diakité, Tarek Morad; M Afrim Taku, Kwadwo Poku (Joe Cole 65'), Dom Oduro, Martin Vingaard, Leo Fernandes; F Jaime Chavez (Lance Rozeboom 83'), Georgi Hristov (Junior Flemmings 70')
Kickers XI (3-5-2): GK Brandon Barnes; D Mallan Roberts, Conor Shanosky, Mekeil Williams; M Scott Thomsen, Prince Agmeyang (Greg Boehme 60'), Neil Hlavaty (Yudai Imura 60'), Oscar Umar, Brian Shriver (c); F Raul Gonzalez (Heviel Cordoves 68'), Giuseppe Gentile