INDIANAPOLIS (September 26, 2018) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies’ three-game winning streak came to an end Wednesday night as they ran out of steam in a 2-0 loss to the Indy Eleven at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Tampa Bay didn’t put in a bad performance, but just wasn’t sharp enough playing their fourth match in 12 days.
Indy’s Karl Ouimette scored in the 37th minute and Elliott Collier doubled the home team’s lead in the 75th to secure all three points for Indy.
The loss dealt a minor blow to the Rowdies’ late run to the playoffs, but the table remains extremely tight. Tampa Bay is three points short of the playoff line with three games to go. Fellow bubble teams Nashville (at Atlanta United 2) and Ottawa Fury FC (at Toronto FC II) won on a busy Wednesday night, while North Carolina FC (at Charleston Battery) lost.
The Rowdies (11-13-7, 40 points) had more than their fair share of chances to score a goal or two in Indianapolis, starting with Afrim Taku’s volley in the 26th minute. The Albanian midfielder spun and fired a low rocket on frame, but Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams got just enough of his fingertips to the ball to tip it onto his left-hand post and out of play.
Ouimette’s goal in the 37th minute came on a corner kick when he got to the ball on a near-post run and tucked his header just inside the far post for a halftime lead.
In the 57th minute, it looked like the Rowdies found a way back into the match when Taku tried to chip the ball between Indy defenders on the edge of the box for Sebastian Guenzatti to run onto.
Taku’s chip hit Eleven defender Carlyle Mitchell in the shoulder and referee Daniel Radford immediately whistled for a penalty kick for the Rowdies. However, after consultation with assistant referee Jeffrey Swartzel, Redford negated his decision in favor of a drop ball on the edge of the box.
Tampa Bay put plenty of pressure on Indy in the second half, but the Rowdies couldn’t quite connect on a cross or they would have their shots blocked in a frustrating result. The Rowdies took 19 shorts (four on target), but eight were blocked. Fon Williams made four saves to record his 11th clean sheet of the season.
The Rowdies tried to rally late in the second half with Jaime Chavez shooting into the outside netting in the 90th minute, but they ultimately ran out of time.
Up next, the Rowdies have a weekend to rest and regroup before visiting Atlanta United 2 on Wednesday, October 3 in a crucial match. The Rowdies will play their home finale Saturday, October 6 against the Charlotte Independence. For tickets, call (727) 222-2000 or click here.
Indy: Karl Ouimette - 37th minute (Assisted by Ayoze)
Indy: Elliot Collier - 75th minute
Indy: Owain Fon Williams - 74th minute
Rowdies XI (3-5-2): GK Daniel Vega; D Hunter Gorskie, Papé Diakité, Tarek Morad; M Afrim Taku (Alex Morrell 72'), Kwadwo Poku (Jaime Chavez 65'), Dom Oduro, Lance Rozeboom (Joe Cole 78'), Zac Portillos (c); F Junior Flemmings, Sebastian Guenzatti
Indy XI (4-4-2): GK Owain Fon Williams; D Reiner Ferreira, Ayoze, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette; M Dylan Mares (Matt Watson 68'), Nico Matern, Seth Moses, Kevin Venegas; F Elliot Collier, Jack McInerney