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Rowdies Drop Final Match of the Season in Bethlehem

By Rowdies Communications, 10/14/18, 2:20PM EDT


BETHLEHEM, Pa. (October 14, 2018) -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies lost 1-0 against Bethlehem Steel on Sunday afternoon at Goodman Stadium in Bethlehem.

Midfielder Michee Ngalina scored the lone goal of the match, helping the home side reach the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs.

The Rowdies started off on the right foot, putting Bethlehem under pressure early on, but they were unable to translate that into a goal.

The home side would take the early lead in the 13th minute, with Ngalina finishing past Akira Fitzgerald. Midfielder Brendon Aaronson found the Congo native at the far post, leaving him with an easy finish.

The Rowdies had several chances to equalize, with the closest one coming in the 31st minute. Midfielder Kwadwo Poku received a pass from Leon Taylor and blasted a shot on frame but it hit the post denying the visitors the game-tying goal.

Despite creating continuous chances in the first half, the first 45 minutes would come to an end with Bethlehem up 1-0.

Tampa Bay dominated much of the second half, creating multiple chances only to be denied by a stout Bethlehem defense and a couple great saves by goalkeeper John McCarthy.

One of those big saves came early in the second half as McCarthy denied a rocket by midfielder Leo Fernandes.

Defender Tarek Morad would give the Rowdies life with a terrific goal-line clearance in the 66th minute. 

A final chance came in stoppage time when a shot by forward Sebastian Guenzatti was redirected to forward Jaime Chavez. The second-half substitute was unable to get his redirection on frame and it trickled just inches wide.

The Rowdies would be unable to find the equalizer, ending the 2018 USL campaign with a 1-0 loss against Bethlehem.

Scoring Summary
Bethlehem: Michee Ngalina - 13th minute (assisted by Brenden Aaronson)

Caution Summary
Bethlehem: James Chambers - 44th minute
Bethlehem: Fabian Herbers - 76th minute

Starting Lineups
Rowdies XI (3-5-2): GK Akira Fitzgerald; D Hunter Gorskie, Papé Diakité, Tarek Morad; M Afrim Taku (Joe Cole 86'), Martin Vingaard, Lance Rozeboom (Alex Morrell 64'), Kwadwo Poku (Jaime Chavez 64'), Leo Fernandes; F Leon Taylor, Sebastian Guenzatti

Bethlehem XI (4-2-3-1): GK John McCarthy; D Matt Real, Ben Ofeimu, Matt Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; M James Chambers, Anthony Fontana; M Santi Moar (Chris Nanco 84'), Brenden Aaronson (Drew Skundrich 71'), Michee Ngalina; F Fabian Herbers (Faris 76')