Date ArticleType
5/26/2018 Member News

Tampa Bay Rowdies Defeat Toronto FC 4-2 on the Road

Nico Castillo, Tampa Bay Rowdies

Tampa Bay Rowdies Defeat Toronto FC 4-2 on the Road

TORONTO (May 26, 2018) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies put an end to some frustrations with a 4-2 road win over Toronto FC II at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon, earning Neill Collins his first win as head coach of the Rowdies.

Tampa Bay scored twice in each half to win despite putting in a performance that wasn’t quite perfect.

Junior Flemmings and Michael Nanchoff scored in the 24th and 25th minutes, respectively, to put Tampa Bay up 2-0 at halftime.

Toronto replied with two goals of its own in the 50th and 63rd minutes, but the Rowdies powered on to pick up the victory.

Hunter Gorskie scored the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute and then Flemmings sealed the result in the 88th minute with his second goal of the afternoon.

“Now I’ve got a good idea of what it feels like to be a good head coach and the emotions that I’ve put managers through all these years,” Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins said. “The first half, everything we wanted to do, we did. The second half, there were issues, but you’ve got to put everything in context. … I’m just pleased for everyone at the club.”

Tampa Bay entered the match on a 450-minute road scoring drought and five-game losing streak in league play, but once the first goal came, more followed quickly. The streak reached 474 minutes before a Marcel Schäfer cross from the left wing found Flemmings waiting calmly at the back post for a cool finish.

It was Flemmings’ first goal since joining the Rowdies.

Within just a few seconds of the restart — 80 seconds in real time — the Rowdies had forced a turnover and were back on the front foot. A Rowdies shot was saved and then a second was blocked, with the rebound coming all the way out to Nanchoff 25 yards from goal.

Nanchoff struck it well and it snuck just inside Toronto goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell’s right-hand post to give the Rowdies their second goal in two minutes.

Toronto, down two goals in the second half, put up a great fight though.

Dante Campbell scored in the 50th minute and then Malik Johnson equalized the match 13 minutes later to put the Rowdies under some real pressure.

The Rowdies didn’t back down though and just continued pressing forward.

The breakthrough came in the 73rd minute when Max Lachowecki was fouled by Rocco Romeo.

Schäfer delivered the free kick to the back post where Gorskie was waiting for an easy headed finish to put the Rowdies ahead 3-2 with his first goal of the season.

As the clock wound down, Toronto back a big mistake heading a ball backward at midfield with Junior Flemmings there to take possession and race toward goal unimpeded. With plenty of time to compose himself, Flemmings slotted home his second goal of the afternoon to seal the result.

“It feels really good,” Flemmings said. “At the start of the season, I was struggling a little bit, but this past week of training was really good for all of us and I think it carried through to the game. We all put in the work and it paid dividends.”

With three road points in the bag, the Rowdies now return home for five of their next six matches, beginning with a clash against Atlanta United II on Saturday, June 2 at Al Lang Stadium. For tickets, call (727) 222-2000 or click here.

Scoring Summary
Rowdies: Junior Flemmings - 24th minute (Assisted by Marcel Schäfer)
Rowdies: Michael Nanchoff - 25th minute
Toronto FC II: Dante Campbell - 50th minute (Assisted by Luca Petrasso)
Toronto FC II: Malik Johnson - 63rd minute (Assisted by Luca Uccello)
Rowdies: Hunter Gorskie - 73rd minute (Assisted by Marcel Schäfer)
Rowdies: Junior Flemmings - 88th minute

Caution Summary
Rowdies: Michael Nanchoff - 18th minute
Toronto: Luca Uccello - 21st minute
Rowdies: Joe Cole 40th minute
Rowdies: Rocco Romeo - 73rd minute

Rowdies XI (3-5-2): GK Akira Fitzgerald; D Hunter Gorskie, Tamika Mkandawire, Zac Portillos (Max Lachowecki 65'); M Michael Nanchoff, Lance Rozeboom, Joe Cole (c), Marcel Schäfer, Leo Fernandes (Sebastian Guenzatti 67'); F Jochen Graf (Georgi Hristov 78'), Junior Flemmings

Toronto XI (4-5-1): GK Caleb Patterson-Sewell; D Brandon Onkony, Rocco Romeo, Robert Boskovic, Kyle Bjornethun (Luca Petrasso 46'); M Dante Campbell (Malyk Hamilton79'), Matthew Srbely, Jordan Faria, Luca Uccello, Malik Johnson; F Shaan Hundal (Aikim Andrews 60')