ST. PETERSBURG – The Tampa Bay Rowdies fell to Orlando City SC 3-2 in the second leg of the I-4 Derby on Sunday night. The two sides fought out a well-contested match, but the home side could never really push ahead.
The first half started off slowly, similar to Friday night's match against Ft. Lauderdale, with both teams feeling each other out before committing numbers forward. Tampa Bay created the first good chance off of a corner in the 15th minute. Midfielder Blake Wagner curled a ball to the back post for forward Georgi Hristov who headed the ball back across the face of goal to force a goal-line clearance.
Orlando City's first chance of the game came after defender Luke Boden crossed a ball to an unmarked Corey Hertzog, who was not able to keep his volley from sailing over the crossbar.
Orlando City broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Hertzog was played through on goal and crossed the ball to his strike-partner Kevin Molino who beat Rowdies goalkeeper Ryan Thompson from close range.
The Rowdies broke through just three minutes later when midfielder Darel Russell stole the ball from an Orlando City player and slotted it through for forward Georgi Hristov to finish. The reigning NASL Golden Ball Winner slid his shot into Orlando City keeper Carl Woszczynski's far post.
Orlando City took the lead once more when midfielder Darwin Ceren scored on a free kick from 20 yards out in the 43rd minute. Ceren curled his shot over the Rowdies wall and into the top corner of Thompson's net.
The second half started slowly as well, with neither side able to create any significant chances for the first ten minutes. Tampa Bay managed to score their second goal of the night when trialist Ricardo Morris played Hristov through on goal who slotted the ball past a charging Woszczynski for his second goal of the night. This was also Morris' second assist of the preseason.
Orlando regained the lead in the 75th minute when Hertzog got a goal of his own. The second half continued on in this way with neither side really creating or threatening the opposition goal.
The Rowdies slowly attempted to equalize without creating any major chances until the 90th minute when substitute Keith Savage dribbled past Woszczynski only to have an Orlando defender slide in to force the ball out for a corner.
Next, the Rowdies turn their focus toward the NASL Fall Season, which kicks off at Al Lang on Saturday, July 12 when Tampa Bay hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks. For tickets to that match, call (877) ROWDIES or click here.
|Photo of game from Rowdiessoccer.com|
Tampa Bay Rowdies XI (4-4-2): GK Ryan Thompson; D Frankie Sanfilippo (c), D JP Rodrigues, D Takuya Yamada, D Anthony Wallace (Evans Frimpong 46'); M Ricardo Morris (trialist) (Keith Savage 68'), M Shane Hill, M Darel Russell, M Blake Wagner; F Casey Townsend (Luciano Olguin 46'), F Georgi Hristov (Carl Cort 68')
Orlando City Soccer Club XI (4-4-2): GK Carl Woszczynski; D Tyler Turner, D Tommy Redding, D Rob Valentino, D Luke Boden; M Aodhan Quinn, M Austin Da Luz, M Darwin Ceren, M Cobi Span; F Kevin Molino, F Corey Hertzog
Orlando: Kevin Molino - 32nd minute (Assisted by Corey Hertzog)
Tampa Bay: Georgi Hristov - 35th minute (Assisted by Darel Russell)
Orlando: Darwin Ceren - 43rd minute
Tampa Bay: Takuya Yamada - 43rd minute
Tampa Bay: Ryan Thompson - 45th minute
Orlando: Luke Boden - 63rd minute