ST. LOUIS, Mo. (August 14, 2017) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies fell to a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat on the road against Saint Louis FC on Sunday night in a rollercoaster of a match that saw both teams blow leads.
Here’s Three Things from the defeat…
1. The scoring continues
Sunday’s match couldn’t have started much worse for the Rowdies, who conceded twice in the opening five minutes after keeping three consecutive clean sheets in the week prior. Tampa Bay came into the match with one of the best defensive records in the USL, but was immediately bludgeoned by an energized Saint Louis FC team.
While starting the match so poorly should be condemned, the Rowdies likewise deserve credit for steadying the ship and bouncing back as quickly and strongly as they did.
Goals from Marcel Schäfer, Georgi Hristov and Martin Paterson in the 10th, 16th and 36th minutes, respectively, turned Tampa Bay’s nightmare start into a 3-2 road lead. By the time Paterson’s goal went in, the Rowdies had scored six goals in their last 111 minutes of action going back to last week’s 3-0 win over the Harrisburg City Islanders.
This marks the first time the Rowdies have scored three goals in back-to-back league matches since August 9 and 16, 2014.
2. Conceding late
The Rowdies have made a nasty habit of conceding late goals to drop points in recent road games, one that should be addressed sooner rather than later. In each of Tampa Bay’s last five matches away from Al Lang Stadium, the Rowdies have conceded a goal in the 80th minute or later. In three of those matches, the late goal turned a potential win into a draw or a potential draw into a loss.
On June 17 in Richmond, Tampa Bay led 1-0 in stoppage time, but conceded a stoppage time equalizer and settled for a 1-1 draw. On July 13 in Orlando, the Rowdies again led 1-0 in stoppage time but conceded a penalty kick for another 1-1 draw. Last night, the Rowdies were on track to at least claim a point from a topsy-turvy road match, but conceded in the 89th minute to lose 4-3.
Even with the late goals against, the Rowdies still have one of the best defensive records in the Eastern Conference with 22 goals conceded in 23 matches. Only Louisville City FC (20), the Rochester Rhinos (20) and Orlando City B (21) have conceded fewer, though none of those teams have played as many matches as the Rowdies, but the timing of the goals against has been particularly painful for Rowdies fans.
3. A man down
For the first time all season, the Rowdies finished a match shorthanded last night after Damion Lowe was dismissed for receiving his second yellow card of the evening, and the corresponding red card, in the 85th minute. He had been booked for the first time in the 25th minute. Despite having the most yellow cards of any team in the league, the Rowdies had not had anyone sent off prior to last night.
The Rowdies will be without Lowe this coming weekend against the Ottawa Fury FC as he serves an automatic one-game suspension for his red card. Had Lowe not been shown a second yellow, he would have been suspended for the Ottawa match anyway due to yellow card accumulation.