CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 19, 2017) -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC Cincinnati tied 1-1 at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday night. Rowdies midfielder Marcel Schäfer scored his first goal since joining the club, but it wasn't enough to earn the win on the road.
"We started off the game great with Marcel's goal," said Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell. "Despite not being able to get the three points, I think the draw is a positive result, especially against a tough team like Cincinnati. Now we have to turn the page and work on getting a win on Saturday at home."
A long distance rocket by Schäfer put the Rowdies up 1-0 after just seven minutes. After receiving a pass from midfielder Justin Chavez, the German midfielder found space and fired a shot from about 35 yards out. Schäfer's blast hit the right post and then went in. This is Schäfer's first goal and Chavez's first assist of the season.
"I had a perfect angle with my left foot so I decided to take a chance," said Schäfer. "Luckily it went as planned and I scored my first goal with the Rowdies. Despite the goal, I am disappointed we couldn't get the three wins but I still think it's a good result on the road."
After the Rowdies goal, Cincinnati poured on the pressure and had several dangerous chances as it looked for the equalizer.
20 minutes in, McLaughlin found himself one-on-one with Matt Pickens, but the Rowdies goalkeeper came off his line quick and made a great save.
After generating several dangerous cross, the majority through McLaughlin, Cincinnati scored the equalizer in the 36th minute. Midfielder Kenney Walker served a great corner kick into the heart of the box, finding Delbridge wide open to head it home.
The first half ended with FC Cincinnati looking for the go-ahead goal, in front of the home crowd, but the Rowdies were able to hold on to finish the half tied 1-1.
"I felt that after our goal, we stopped playing the way we know how to play and that cost us," mentioned Campbell. "We defended well when they put the pressure on us, which is a positive takeaway."
The second half began just like the first one ended. Cincinnati threw men forward to the attack, applying pressure on the Rowdies. This resulted in a chippy second half, which ended up forcing the referee to send off Cincinnati midfielder Kadeem Dacres in the 75th minute with a straight red card for a studs up challenge to the midsection of Rowdies forward Deshorn Brown.
The home team's clearest chance of the second half came in the 64th minute when Daryl Fordyce played a lovely touch-and-go and found himself with space inside the box. The former FC Edmonton forward was unable to get a clear shot and it went straight to Pickens.
Minutes after Walker almost put Cincinnati ahead with a gorgeous free kick, it was the Rowdies who would get their chance at getting the game-winning goal.
Playing a man up after Dacres' dismissal, the Rowdies were able to send players forward in search of the three points and controlled the final quarter hour of the match.
"After they get the red card, the game opened up for us and we were able to get a few chances," said Campbell. "I think we could've won the game at the end but we were missing the final touch. All-in-all, a draw is still a positive result."
In the 79th minute, Brown was denied a goal by a Mitch Hildebrandt kick save and the ensuing rebound was blasted on frame by Chavez, but it was cleared out for a corner kick.
Despite sending cross after cross into Cincinnati's box, the Rowdies were unable to get the game winner, with the match ending 1-1.
The Rowdies now return home to face Charleston Battery on Saturday, April 22. Kickoff at Al Lang Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Get the best seats in the house, by securing your tickets today! Call (727)222-2000 or click here to purchase tickets today.
Tampa Bay: Marcel Schäfer - 7th minute (assisted by Justin Chavez)
Cincinnati: Harrison Delbridge - 36th minute (assisted by Kenney Walker)
Tampa Bay: Luke Boden - 20th minute
Cincinnati: Matt Bahner - 58th minute
Tampa Bay: Michael Nanchoff - 65th minute
Tampa Bay: Damion Lowe - 70th minute
Cincinnati: Kadeem Dacres - 75th minute (red card)
Rowdies XI (4-2-3-1): GK Matt Pickens (c); D Darnell King, Damion Lowe, Neill Collins, Luke Boden; M Justin Chavez, Marcel Schäfer; M Darwin Jones (Martin Paterson 90+'), Michael Nanchoff (Joe Cole 80'), Leo Fernandes (Georgi Hristov 65'); F Deshorn Brown
Cincinnati XI (4-3-3) : GK Mitch Hildenbrandt; D Matt Bahner, Austin Berry, Harrison Delbridge, Tyler Polak; M Kenny Walker, Corben Bone, Andrew Wiedeman (Daryl Fordyce 62'); F Kadeem Dacres, Djiby Fall (Victor Mansaray 81'), Jimmy McLaughlin