HARRISON, N.J. (April 14, 2018) — One week after romping to a 5-0 win over Ottawa Fury FC, the Tampa Bay Rowdies were on the other end of the spectrum, losing 5-0 to New York Red Bulls II on a difficult Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.
Once New York scored the opening in the 18th minute, the result was hardly ever in doubt, though two goals in the final six minutes stretched the scoreline in New York’s favor.
“We’re all devastated,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “We felt it was a harsh scoreline. In the first half, we didn’t feel there was anything between the two teams.”
If was a tough match from start to finish for the Rowdies, who lost starting right back David Najem to an injury early on. It looked like Najem would be forced out by an injury after just 13 minutes, but he was briefly able to continue on after a short delay.
Just after Fidel Escobar opened the scoring in the 18th minute, Najem went down again and had to be taken out of the match. The Rowdies shifted Hunter Gorskie to right back and gave a debut to Ivan Magalhães at center back, but the Rowdies were far from their best.
Tampa Bay (3-2-0, 9 points) nearly equalized in the 40th minute, but Georgi Hristov’s shot was cleared off the line, allowing New York (3-1-1, 10 points) to carry its lead into halftime.
The Red Bulls doubled their lead in the 53rd minute, with Jose Aguinaga scoring a laser from the top of the box to make it 2-0.
Down a pair of goals, the Rowdies came to life a little bit.
Leo Fernandes served up a great ball for Junior Flemmings at point-blank range in the 59th minute, but New York goalkeeper Evan Louro came up with a massive save to deny Tampa Bay.
At the other end of the field, New York’s Stefano Bonomo gave his side a third goal in the 61st minute.
“The turning point in the game was just prior to when they scored their third goal,” Campbell said. “We had a bit of great play and a great opportunity to score at make it 2-1 and then 30 seconds later, it’s 3-0. From that point on, the game turned on its head.”
Fernandes was at the center of the attack again in the 69th minute, but again Louro made a big save to keep Tampa Bay off the board. Marcel Schäfer had a shot on the follow-up, but his effort skipped just wide of frame.
After that, the Rowdies wouldn’t create too many more chances and goals from Brian White in the 84th and 90th minutes provided even more separation.
Now, the Rowdies have to regroup for a showdown with the Western Conference’s top team, Real Monarchs SLC, at Al Lang Stadium next weekend. For tickets, call (727) 222-2000 or click here.
New York: Fidel Escobar - 18th minute (assisted by Carlos Rivas)
New York: Jose Aguinaga - 53rd minute (assisted by Stefano Bonomo)
New York: Stefano Bonomo - 61st minute (assisted by Amando Moreno)
New York: Brian White - 84th minute (assisted by Stefano Bonomo)
New York: Brian White - 90th minute (assisted by Jared Stroud)
Tampa Bay: Joe Cole - 25th minute
New York: Fidel Escobar - 25th minute
New York: Cristian Casseres - 28th minute
Tampa Bay: Jack Blake - 77th minute
New York: Christopher Lema - 85th minute
Rowdies XI (4-3-3): GK Cody Mizell; D David Najem (Ivan Magalhães 23'), Hunter Gorskie, Neill Collins, Zac Portillos; M Joe Cole (c) (Jochen Graf 75'), Jack Blake, Marcel Schäfer; F Junior Flemmings (Sebastian Guenzatti 62'), Georgi Hristov, Leo Fernandes
New York XI (4-3-3): GK Evan Louro; D Ethan Kutler, Hassan Adam, Fidel Escobar, Niko DeVera; M Jose Aguinaga (Jared Stroud 84'), Cristian Casseres, Andrew Tinari; F Amando Moreno (Christopher Lema 68'), Stefano Bonomo, Carlos Rivas (Brian White 74')