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FINAL: Tampa Bay Rowdies 3, Riverhounds SC 1

File Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Rowdies
USL Championship Eastern Conference

Tampa Bay Rowdies 3, Riverhounds SC 1

Match Stats: USL Championship Match Center | Match hashtag: #TBRvPIT

Riverhounds SC had its two-game win streak snapped on the road, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies came back from an early Hounds goal to win 3-1 tonight at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL.

Alex Dixon put the Hounds (7-3-1) in front just 10 minutes into the game, but goals by Jake LaCava, Leo Fernandes and Lucky Mkosana gave the defending Eastern Conference champion Rowdies (5-3-4) the victory.

All three of the Hounds’ losses this year have come on the road, and this defeat cost the team a chance to move into first place in the East with leaders Louisville also losing today.

“I thought the effort was there, but we weren’t quite good enough on the night,” Riverhounds coach Bob Lilley said.

“Overall, I think it was a good effort, but at times we allowed them too much space. But there’s something we can take from this game, and now we have to come home and get ready to go back down to Miami.”

First half

The Hounds nearly got the scoring going right out of the gates, as Kenardo Forbes found Dani Rovira with a ball between Rowdies defenders in the fifth minute. The Hounds midfielder got a shot away under pressure, but it struck the crossbar and bounced back safely in play.

Dixon then got some good fortune as the Hounds broke on the counter-attack. Russell Cicerone found his winger in space down the right side, and Dixon’s attempt — which appeared to be aimed for the far post — struck a defender’s boot and flew inside of the near post for the goal.

The Rowdies pushed back well after the early Hounds flurry, and in the 36th minute, LaCava tied the game by muscling his way onto the second ball from a high, lobbed cross and poking the ball into the far corner of the net.

Second half

The Hounds again had some good energy in their press to start the second half, but the Rowdies broke the deadlock in the 57th minute.

Fernandes received a ball at the top of the box and slipped past defender Arturo Ordóñez, who had to be careful not to concede a penalty or pick up a second caution. The Rowdies’ Brazilian forward chipped a finish past goalkeeper Jahmali Waite to make it 2-1.

The Hounds got another chance just three minutes later, as Shane Wiedt played a low, direct pass through to Dixon, but Rowdies goalkeeper C.J. Cochran came off his line to smother the pass/shot attempt off Dixon’s foot.

The Hounds continued to press forward for a goal with 68 percent of the second-half possession (55 percent for the game), but Tampa Bay put it away when Mkosana scored from a long-ball clearance in the final minute of the game.

Match Day Updates

Final – Tampa Bay 3, Pittsburgh 1

94′ – Lucky Mkosana bodies Forbes and scores a beauty past Waite. With authority, Tampa Bay is going to get the win here tonight 3-1. Not the best defensive performance for Pittsburgh tonight.

90+’ – Five minutes of stoppage time added. Tampa Bay still up 2-1.

88′ – Cicerone with a shot on frame saved by the keeper. Only a few minutes left to tie it or Hounds get no points tonight.

82′ – Lucky Mkosana, who just subbed on, almost scores in the box. Tampa Bay still trying to advance their 2-1 lead.

77′ – Both sides with three yellow cards at the moment. Riverhounds can still use two subs if they want.

73′ – I don’t say it often but a bit too much dribbling from Forbes there. Need to just play more simple.

63′ – Rovira has certainly been on the ground a lot. Lots of fouls in this second half. Both sides seem to be a bit tired. Not as many players sprinting in the hot Tampa Bay weather.

57′ – Fernandes chips Waite and Tampa Bay is now up 2-1. The Brazilian gets the go ahead goal and walks over to his family. Special moment for the Rowdies.

52′ – Dixon gets a yellow card a few minutes ago.

Half – After a min of stoppage time we are level at 1 a piece. Goals by Dixon and LaCava. Both teams have a CB with a yellow. Great contest so far, but I do think Tampa Bay is slightly outplaying the Hounds.

39′ – Scarlett on Tampa Bay gets a yellow card for fouling Dikwa. He pulled him down as Dikwa was chasing after the ball.

36′ – LaCava scores his sixth goal of the season. Dossantos failed to clear the ball in the box, LaCava picked up the garbage and ripped it top left past Waite. Tie game 1-1.

33′ – Cicerones free kick attempt is blocked by the wall. I don’t believe I’ve seen Cicerone take a free kick in games I’ve watched. Maybe the next one will be Forbes as per usual.

30′ – Another huge save by Waite!! MVP of the game so far. Hounds still up 1-0.

20′ – Dos Santos the ole Hounds player almost rips a header in the top right corner. About a foot away from a goal. That’s two headers in a row that almost went it. Rowdies getting their chances now.

16′ – Big save by Waite! Probably an opportunity that Fernandes should’ve made. Waite keeps the Hounds up 1-0.

10′ – RIVERHOUNDS GOAL BY DIXON!! Dixon gets a pass from Cicerone, his shot deflects off a defender but it’ll count! Dixon earns his second goal of the year. 1-0 Hounds.

5′ – ROVIRA HITS THE CROSSBAR!! Hounds almost take a 1-nil lead just five minutes into the match. Great chance created by Forbes. Ordonez gets a yellow card going the other way. Still 0-0.

3′ – Riverhounds pressing high very early. Ordonez just stepped up looking like a CM. Great play by the Spanish CB to win a header.

1′ – Game finally starts here at 7:38 pm. Riverhounds looking to be at the top of the eastern conference standings with a win tonight.

Look for the Starting Lineups along with match updates and highlights to be posted here.


Riverhounds SC Updates / Coverage

USL Championship’s Nicholas Murray posted a good article on Tampa Bay’s Neill Collins this week.

Wasteful Hounds: Goal conversion rate drops as Sunshine State swing awaits

Jordan joined the Pittsburgh Soccer Now team in 2020 as a contributor to Riverhounds SC & WPIAL coverage. He also just obtained a MBA at Point Park University while being the Graduate Assistant in the Athletics department. Jordan, during his undergrad four years at La Roche University, interned and worked part time for every pro team and several universities in Pittsburgh: Riverhounds SC, Pirates, University of Pittsburgh, La Roche University, Duquesne University, Steelers and the Penguins. With all of these experiences he began to gain a passion to work in sports as a career. Smith played cup soccer for Century United and Beadling during his youth years and also trained with the Riverhounds. He attended South Fayette High School where he helped his team win WPIAL's and a section title his senior year in 2015, while earning All-Section and All-WPIAL honors.

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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