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 Tampa Bay Rowdies

Rowdies Rout Miami 5-2

April 11, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies News Release

MIAMI, Fla - The Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated Miami FC on Thursday night at FIU Soccer Stadium, posting a convincing 5-2 result over their in-state rivals. With the win, the Rowdies remain unbeaten through their first five matches of the USL Championship season.

"I was really, really pleased, said Rowdies Head Coach Robbie Neilson. "The boys were great. We started the game on the front foot, and we passed the ball forward and scored goals, which is great. We probably could have scored more, to be honest with you."

Tampa Bay was relentless from the start against Miami. Ten minutes into the contest, forward Cal Jennings came inches away from a go-ahead goal with a clever chip over the keeper that clanged off the top left corner of the goal.

Undeterred, the Rowdies continue to press and force the hosts into turnovers in their own end. One of those moments led to the opening goal in the 21st minute. Stripping the ball off a defender just outside the box, Rowdies forward Manuel Arteaga played the ball out to the right edge of the area for Eddie Munjoma, whose dangerous cross for Jennings was deflected into the net by Miami defender Samuel Biek.

"It's what we're always trying to do but at times it can be difficult to press teams who don't play from the back," said Neilson. "Last week, against Pittsburgh [Riverhounds], they don't play from the back, they were direct, so it was very difficult to get the press on. Today, we knew Miami would. It allowed us to get after them."

Rowdies keeper Jordan Farr kept the Rowdies out in front with two quality denials in the 31st and 36th minutes, thwarting Miami's Frank Lopez on both chances in Tampa Bay's box.

Just as the Rowdies looked to be heading into the break with just a goal, the floodgates opened with two tallies in quick succession. Midfielder Blake Bodily was involved in both goals. In the 39th minute, Bodily picked out Jennings for a headed finish in front of goal with a pin-point cross from the left flank. Then in the fourth minute of first half added time, Bodily took his chance with a left-footed rocket from the top of the box past keeper Daniel Gagliardi.

A flat start for the Rowdies out of the halftime break allowed Miami to pull one back in the 48th minute. Reading a cross into the box, Rocco Genzano slipped in between Bodily and Farr in front of goal to knock the ball across the line.

"I was disappointed to lose the goal at the start of the second half because that's a crucial period," said Neilson. "We have to see it through and we have to be the team that scores the next goal because that puts the game to bed. It just puts a bit of doubt in everyone's mind, gives them life but it was nice to recover twice from (conceding)."

The two sides went tit-for-tat in goals over the next minutes. Jennings notched his second of the evening in the 52nd minute as he provided the finishing touch on a well-executed counterattack. Miami responded to not three minutes later as their leading scorer Allen Gavilanes guided a long-distance effort into the top right corner.

Arteaga doubled Tampa Bay's lead again in the 62nd minute. Pouncing on a miscued clearance by Gagliardi, Arteaga scooped up the ball in the box and deposited his unmarked chance into the net for his third goal of the season.

Any hope Miami was holding out for a comeback was dashed away in the 73rd minute when Manuel Botta was ejected from the match after reviving a second yellow card.

Along with the three points, took another positive away from the night with midfielder Charlie Dennis making his first appearance of the season. Dennis, who bagged 12 goals for the Rowdies in 2023, entered in the 77th minute and looked promising during his time on the pitch.

Next up, the Rowdies return to Al Lang Stadium to host El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday April 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Scoring Summary

TBR - Diek (Own Goal), 21'

TBR - Jennings (Bodily), 38'

TBR - Bodily (Pérez), 45+4'

MIA - Genzano (Booth) 48'

TBR - Jennings (Pérez), 52'

MIA - Gavilanes (Molina), 55'

TBR - Arteaga, 62'

Caution Summarry

TBR - Arteaga, Yellow Card, 14'

MIA - Vang, Yellow Card, 17'

MIA - Cabral, Yellow Card, 32'

TBR - Hilton, Yellow Card, 49'

MIA - Botta, Yellow Card, 56'

TBR - Munjima, Yellow Card, 64'

MIA - Botta, Second Yellow Card Ejection, 73'MIA - Ndiaye, Yellow Card, 86'

Notable Stats

Lineups & Benches

Rowdies Lineup: Farr, Doherty, Lasso, Guillen, Munjoma, Hilton, Crisostomo, Bodily, Jennings Pérez, Arteaga

Rowdies Bench: Breno, Kleemann, Dezart, Dennis, Rivera, Niyongabire, Ortiz

Miami Lineup: Gagliardi, Cardona, Biek, Knutson, Ayimbila, Booth, Cabral, Gavilanes, Genzano, Vang, Lopez

Miami Bench: Botta, Molina, Ndiaye, DePaula, Jean-Francois, Mitrano, Pedro, Mejia, Gagliardi

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