MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 9, 2019) — It wasn't necessarily pretty, but the Tampa Bay Rowdies picked up an opening day win, defeating Memphis 901 FC 1-0 to start the season with three points.
Sebastian Guenzatti scored the lone goal of the match from the penalty spot in the 4th minute. Surprise starter Juan Tejada drew the penalty for the Rowdies.
Guenzatti's low finish to Memphis goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell's left hand would be the only goal the 8,062 fans on hand for Memphis' inaugural match would see.
"Ultimately, it was a really, really tough game which we expected against a good team on their opening night," Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins said. "It was a good result. We're really pleased. Tonight is about Memphis in many respects. The fans came out in force and made it a fantastic game."
Guenzatti could've doubled the Rowdies lead in the 30th minute with an acrobatic side volley, but Caldwell was on the spot to make the save.
Rowdies midfielder Zach Steinberger nearly scored on his Tampa Bay debut with a clever backheel little flick in the 55th minute but Caldwell again made the save.
Memphis recorded only one shot on target all night as the Rowdies defense kept the ball in spots that were not dangerous. Five of Memphis' eight total shots came from outside the box as 901 FC become more and more frustrated.
The home team was the stronger side for the final 15 minutes of the match, but Tampa Bay stood tall to post the clean sheet.
Eight Rowdies made their official Tampa Bay debut in the match, including midfielder Jordan Doherty, who became the first player born in the year 2000 to appear in a competitive match.
Up next, the Rowdies return home for their home opener against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, March 16. For tickets, call (727) 222-2000 or click here.
Rowdies (3-5-2): GK John McCarthy; D Tarek Morad, Pape Diakite, Caleb Richards; M Shawn Barry (Jordan Doherty 89'), Zach Steinberger, Dom Oduro, Yann Ekra, Leo Fernandes; F Sebastian Guenzatti (c), Juan Tejada (Antoine Hoppenot 77')
Memphis (4-4-2): GK Jeff Caldwell; D Tristan Hodge, Dan Metzger (Leston Paul 68'), Marc Burch (c), Adam Najem; M Rashawn Dally (Junior Sandoval 62'), Ewan Grandison, Elliot Collier, Todd Pratzner (Morgan Hackworth 84'); F Duane Muckette, Wes Charpie
Tampa Bay: Sebastian Guenzatti - 4th minute (penalty kick)
Tampa Bay: Caleb Richards - 11th minute
Memphis: Dan Metzger - 58th minute
Memphis: Junior Sandoval - 87th minute
Memphis: Adam Najem - 90+1 minute