LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 15, 2017) -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies were unable to extend their winning streak to four, losing on Saturday night 2-1 to Louisville City FC. Forward Martin Paterson scored a late goal for the Rowdies, but Louisville would hang on to win the match.
"It was a tough match, in a very tight pitch," said Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell. "We knew it was going to be a physical match tonight and that's exactly what happened. We controlled most of the second half and created several chances to equalize but ultimately we walk away with zero points."
It was a quiet start to the match, with both clubs battling for possession early on, but the first dangerous chance of the match provided the opening goal.
The home team jumped ahead 22 minutes in, courtesy of a goal by midfielder George Davis IV. After receiving a pass from forward Luke Spencer, Davis had time to find space and rip a shot past goalkeeper Matt Pickens. This was the first goal conceded by the Rowdies since joining the USL.
"Whenever you give up a goal early on, it changes the dynamic of a match," said Campbell. "Being a goal down and chasing a match makes everything harder on the field."
Despite creating several chances in the first half, the Rowdies were unable to find the equalizer. A choppy and physical first half included several yellow card to both clubs.
"It was tough to play tonight," said midfielder Martin Vingaard. "I felt that the first half was very physical and it made it very difficult to string together passes going forward. Just as we would get into a flow, a foul would be called."
The Rowdies continued to pressure Louisville City in the second half, just like they did in the first 45 minutes. Despite this, the home team was able to control the Rowdies in the final third, putting out the fire every time the Rowdies stepped into the 18-yard box.
Second-half substitute Darwin Jones came on and immediately made an impact for the Rowdies. With just eight minutes left, he picked up a rebound and fired a shot just inches wide, taking a deflection on its way.
On the ensuing corner kick, forward Deshorn Brown found the ball at his feet at the far post. His powerful shot was met by the post and was cleared by the Louisville stout defense.
As the Rowdies tilted the field towards Louisville's goal, it was LCFC that would score, doubling its lead. A great through ball by midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo led forward Cameron Lancaster free on goal. Lancaster chipped a helpless Pickens, making it 2-0 with just a few minutes left to play.
The Rowdies would get a goal in the 89th minute to make things interesting, but Paterson's first goal since joining the Rowdies wouldn't be enough to earn a point on the road.
"We need to turn the page and start thinking about Cincinnati," said Campbell. "We need to take this loss and learn from it. It's a quick turnaround with the game being on Wednesday, but that's also a good thing for us. It'll be a different game against Cincinnati and we're looking forward to bouncing back on Wednesday."
The Rowdies now travel to Cincinnati, where on Wednesday they face FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
Louisville: George Davis IV - 22nd minute (assisted by Luke Spencer)
Louisville: Cameron Lancaster - 87th minute (assisted by Paolo DelPiccolo)
Tampa Bay: Martin Paterson - 89th minute (assisted by Deshorn Brown)
Louisville: George Davis IV - 31st minute
Louisville: Luke Spencer - 45+ minute
Tampa Bay: Luke Boden - 57th minute
Tampa Bay: Darnell King - 63rd minute
Tampa Bay: Georgi Hristov - 71st minute
Louisville: Kyle Smith - 83rd minute
Rowdies XI (4-2-3-1): GK Akira Fitzgerald (Matt Pickens 16'); D Darnell King, Damion Lowe, Neill Collins, Luke Boden; M Martin Vingaard (Darwin Jones 65'), Marcel Schäfer; M Michael Nanchoff (Martin Paterson 79'), Joe Cole (c), Georgi Hristov; F Deshorn Brown
Louisville XI (4-2-3-1) : GK Tim Dobrowolski; D Kyle Smith, Sean Totsch, Tarek Morad, Oscar Jimenez; M Speedy Williams (Guy Abend 68'), Paolo DelPiccolo (c); Niall McCabe, George Davis IV, Brian Ownby (Cameron Lancaster 60'); F Luke Spencer (Ilija Ilic 75')
The Rowdies stay on the road, making the short trip to Cincinnati to face FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night. Kickoff at Nippert Stadium is set for 7 p.m.