MATTHEWS, N.C. (September 7, 2019) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies dominated the Charlotte Independence on the road Saturday night, picking up a 3-1 road win to start September off on the right foot.
The Rowdies (15-5-7, 52 points) had slumped from the end of July through August to the tune of four losses in six matches, but put that behind them with a good performance in North Carolina to cross the 50-point threshold on the season.
Juan Tejada bagged a brace and Jaime Siaj added a third goal as the Rowdies cruised to victory.
Tampa Bay was on the front foot from the very start with a scoring chance barely 20 seconds into the match. While that didn’t create a goal, the Rowdies wouldn’t have to wait too much longer. Tejada was the beneficiary of some great work in tight spaces by Leo Fernandes before the Brazilian crossed the ball to the near post for Tejada to tap underneath Charlotte goalkeeper Brandon Miller for a 1-0 lead.
Charlotte (5-12-11, 26 points) was overmatched on the night but kept the margin at 1-0 for the remainder of the first half.
Tejada opened the second half even faster than he opened the first half, scoring his 10th goal of the season just four minutes after play resumed. Fernandes dribbled the ball across the top of the box, pulling defenders with him, before passing to Sebastian Guenzatti, who then found Tejada alone in the empty space Fernandes had created for another simple finish.
Tampa Bay added an insurance goal in the 74th minute when second-half substitutes Jaime Siaj and Lucky Mkosana played a clever give-and-go on the edge of the box, leaving Siaj space to shoot between Miller’s legs for a 3-0 Rowdies lead.
Charlotte didn’t register a shot on target until the 83rd minute, when an Independence free kick led to a series of three consecutive shots on frame. Rowdies goalkeeper John McCarthy saved the first two but couldn’t keep Hugh Roberts’ effort out of the net as Charlotte cut its deficit to 3-1 very late in the match.
The win was Tampa Bay’s 15th of the year, a new Modern Era record for wins in a regular season. The previous record of 14 was set in 2017.
The Rowdies will be back at home next week to host Atlanta United 2 on Saturday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available here.
Tampa Bay: Juan Tejada - 7th minute (assisted by Leo Fernandes)
Tampa Bay: Juan Tejada - 49th minute (assisted by Sebastian Guenzatti)
Tampa Bay: Jaime Siaj - 74th minute (assisted by Lucky Mkosana)
Charlotte: Hugh Roberts - 83rd minute
Charlotte: Steven Thicot - 71st minute
Rowdies: GK John McCarthy; D Tarek Morad, Pape Diakite, Caleb Richards; M Malik Johnson (Shawn Barry 81'), Dom Oduro, Kwadwo Poku (Lucky Mkosana 62'), Jordan Doherty, Leo Fernandes; F Sebastian Guenzatti (c), Juan Tejada (Jaime Siaj 70')
Charlotte: GK Brandon Miller; D Hugh Roberts, Steven Thicot (Clay Dimick 83'), Aaron Maund, Abdoulie Mansally; M Valentin Sabella (Isaac Angking 75'), Ricardo Bocanegra, Alex Martinez, Afrim Taku; F Dom Oduro (Jorge Herrera 58'), Enzo Martinez