The Tampa Bay Rowdies lost 4-2 against New York Red Bulls II on Saturdayafternoon at MSU Soccer Park in Montclair, New Jersey. Goals from Martin Paterson and Hunter Gorskie weren’t enough to earn point on the road against a speedy Red Bulls side.
17 minutes into the game, the Rowdies found themselves down a goal after midfielder Andrew Tinari found himself in space and blasted a shot into the top corner of the goal.
“We started the match off well,” said Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell. “We were applying the pressure early on, but their goal caught us off-guard. I thought we could’ve pressed the goal scorer a little more but there’s nothing we could do about the finish.”
Despite going down early, the Rowdies would equalize minutes later off a Paterson header. Forward Georgi Hristov redirected a Marcel Schäfer corner kick, which found Paterson at the far post alone to head it home.
The Rowdies had the opportunity to get the go-ahead goal in the 34th minute, after midfielder Marcel Schäfer ripped his free kick inches wide of the right post. His shot from just outside the 18-yard box looked to be on frame, but it took a deflection off the wall, going out for a corner kick.
Just minutes before the first half came to a close, midfielder Noah Powder took advantage of a free kick to put New York up 2-1. Powder’s shot beat the wall and caught goalkeeper Matt Pickens off guard.
“It was a tough break as it looks like the ball went through the wall and Matt slips as he’s trying to make the save,” said Campbell. “We had fought our way back into the game and it was even at that point. We spoke at halftime about making sure we react and equalize quickly.”
Just under 10 minutes into the second half, the Red Bulls would double their lead. Midfielder Florian Valot made an aggressive run into the six-yard box, getting on the end of Junior Flemmings low cross to make it 3-1 for New York.
With the Rowdies making all three substitutions by the 66th minute, the visiting team was poised to cut the lead in half.
Tampa Bay did just that in the 77th minute, when Gorskie scored his first goal since join the club earlier last week. Midfielder Michael Nanchoff serviced a cross to the far post, finding Gorskie all alone to head it past goalkeeper Ryan Meara.
Minutes later, the Rowdies nearly equalized the match once again, but Meara made a sprawling diving save to deny Alex Morrell his goal.
Meara’s save gave the Red Bulls some life, and they would sentence the match in the 83rd minute. Powder played a through ball to Flemmings, who beat the Rowdies backline and calmly curled it past Pickens.
“I felt that the way the match was going, that after our second goal, we would create chances to equalize the match once again,” said Campbell. “Their goalkeeper made an unbelievable save on Morrell and then minutes later they put the match away with the fourth goal.”
The Rowdies would be unable to create any danger after the Red Bulls last goal, with the home side putting the match away.
“It’s not the way we wanted the road trip to start,” said Campbell. “We have to bounce back on Wednesday and it gives our guys an opportunity to do just that.”
Tampa Bay continues their three-game road trip this Wednesday, when they face Harrisburg City Islanders. Following that match, they’ll travel to play Bethlehem Steel on Saturday, September 9.