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 Tampa Bay Rowdies

Rowdies Remain Unbeaten with Draw in Pittsburg

April 6, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies News Release

PITTSBURGH, PA - The Tampa Bay Rowdies recorded their first shutout of the season and added a point to their ledger on Saturday night, finishing in a scoreless draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at HighMark Stadium. With the result, the Rowdies extended their unbeaten run to start the year to four matches.

"I thought the boys worked really hard," said Rowdies Head Coach Robbie Neilson. "It's obviously a really hard place to come. The surface makes it really difficult to pass the ball at all. It's really tight and the way (Pittsburgh) plays is really aggressive. Tonight is not how we want to play, but sometimes you just have to take the clean sheet, take the point, and get (home)."

Pittsburgh had the better of the chances in the opening half. Rowdies captain Aaron Guillen was called on to make a goal line clearance in the 20th minute, sweeping an attempt by Pittsburgh's Patrick Hogan from the center of the box out of danger. Ten minutes later, Rowdies keeper Jordan Farr kept the hosts off the scoresheet with a diving save to deny a right-footed shot from Robbie Mertz.

The Rowdies first true threat of the night came in the 81st minute. Making his second appearance for the Rowdies, newcomer Eddie Munjoma threaded a chipped pass through a couple defenders for teammate Manuel Arteaga. With keeper Eddie Dick rushing to the top of the box, Arteaga fired a shot toward goal that Pittsburgh's shot-stopper was able to parry away at the last moment.

Only a few moments following Arteaga's chance, the Rowdies found their best look at goal of the match. After substitute Damian Rivera earned a free kick just outside Pittsburgh's box, midfielder Lewis Hilton rocketed a shot through the defensive wall and on target. However, Dick was up to the task and swatted the effort away.

In the end, Arteaga and Hilton's attempts were Tampa Bay's only shots on target of the night. Pittsburgh didn't hold much edge in chances created over the Rowdies with just three efforts on frame all night as both sides nearly split possession 50 to 50.

"I didn't think either team created a lot of chances," said Neilson. "In these games when everything's in the middle of the pitch and it's turnover after turnover, it's about can you get a bit of quality? If we'd managed to string together three or four quality passes together we'd have probably had a better chance. Pittsburgh could say the same as well."

The Rowdies remain on the road to face Miami FC on Thursday, April 11 before returning to Al Lang Stadium on Saturday April 20 to host El Paso Locomotive FC.

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