ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (May 19, 2018) – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (4-0-5) tied the Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-5-1), 2-2, on Saturday at Al Lang Stadium to extend its club-record unbeaten streak to commence a season to nine matches.
Romeo Parkes greatly factored into both of the Hounds’ goals, as he scored one and created the offensive pressure to force a Tampa Bay own goal for the other tally. This marks the first time the Rowdies were scored on in their home stadium this year, as they previously shut out opponents in their first three home games.
“It was a game we let points slip away,” head coach Bob Lilley said. “There were plenty of positive signs. We just have to mature as a team. We did a lot of good things, but it takes maturity to win. Some of these ties we have to grow tactically and be able to manage these games.
"I’m proud that they responded well after falling behind for the first time this season. I think when the game got tied at 2-2, they could have buckled a little bit, but they turned the momentum again. It’s a decent performance. We just didn’t finish it off and now we just have to get ready for Cincinnati. It’s one where we left something there, but I’m certainly not disappointed in how they competed tonight.”
How It Happened
Taking the entire season to build upon, the Hounds’ streak of never trailing in a 2018 match came to an abrupt end.
In the 3rd minute, the Tampa Bay Rowdies struck first. On the receiving end from a quick, short corner opportunity, forward Alex Morrell sent a ball into the 18-yard box and found midfielder Lance Rozeboom, who flicked the sphere into the bottom-right corner of the net by a diving Dan Lynd to provide the Rowdies with a 1-0 lead.
This tally ended Pittsburgh’s streak of never trailing in a match to start the campaign at 723 minutes – the longest such stretch in club history to begin a season.
Tampa Bay found the twine again in the 20th minute, but this time with one twist. Chasing down a ball from Christiano François, Romeo Parkes blasted a shot at goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, who deflected the ball up and into the air behind him near the goal line. Trying to clear the spinning ball away from the goalmouth, Max Lachowecki ended up placing the ball into his own net to bring the score even at 1-1.
Ten minutes later, Parkes officially notched a goal of his own. The St. Mary, Jamaica native gathered a through-ball from midfielder Kenardo Forbes before selecting the near post as a means to beat Fitzgerald. Parkes’ first tally this season gave the Hounds a 2-1 lead at the half.
After the break, Tampa Bay captain Joe Cole scored an equalizer for his squad. Taking a free kick for the Rowdies in the 59th minute, the 36-year-old veteran placed a right-footed, low shot on target that beat Lynd, knotting the score at 2-2.
Pittsburgh had a chance in the 82nd minute to score a go-ahead goal. Subbing into the match for Parkes just two minutes prior, Neco Brett fired a shot on target from the center of the penalty area only to have his chance saved by Fitzgerald.
The Rowdies had an opportunity of their own in the 89th minute with a point-blank header from Junior Flemmings. As the ball seemed ticketed for the back of the net, Lynd made a terrific reactionary save and batted the ball out of play. This marked the last shot on goal for either team in the match, and the score held at 2-2 until the final whistle.
Man of the Match
Logging one tally and taking the shot that eventually led to a Tampa Bay own goal, Romeo Parkes provided the firepower for the Hounds on the offensive end. The striker led the club with three shots and two shots on goal during the match.
Stat of the Game
Pittsburgh’s streak of never trailing in a game this campaign ended at 723 minutes. Even though this streak has concluded, the Hounds extended their club-best unbeaten streak to start a season to nine matches.
Beyond the Box Score
Riverhounds SC will take a short hiatus from league play to battle FC Cincinnati at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Highmark Stadium for a third round match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Following this game, the Hounds will return to USL action and stay in Pittsburgh to face Penn FC (2-3-4) at 7 p.m. on May 26 at Highmark Stadium.
Riverhounds SC – Dan Lynd – Ray Lee, Hugh Roberts, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Todd Pratzner, Jordan Dover – Kevin Kerr (Joe Holland 81’), Kenardo Forbes, Ben Zemanski (Tobi Adewole 80’), Christiano François – Romeo Parkes (Neco Brett 81’)
Subs not used: Mike Kirk, Noah Franke, Bakie Goodman, Andrew Lubahn
Tampa Bay Rowdies – Akira Fitzgerald – Zach Portillos, Hunter Gorskie, Ivan Magalhaes, Max Lachowecki – Lance Rozeboom, Marcel Schäfer – Georgi Hristov (Jochen Graf 76’), Joe Cole (Michael Nanchoff 72’), Sebastián Guenzatti – Alex Morell (Junior Flemmings 61’)
Subs not used: Cody Mizell, Leo Fernandes, Tamika Mkandawire, Leon Taylor
TBR – Lance Rozeboom (Alex Morrell) 3’
PGH – Max Lachowecki (own goal) 20’
PGH – Romeo Parkes (Kenardo Forbes) 30’
TBR – Joe Cole 59’
PGH – Kevin Kerr (caution) 17’
PGH – Todd Pratzner (caution) 49’
TBR – Georgi Hristov (caution) 57’
TBR – Max Lachowecki (caution) 90+1’