ROWDIES DRAW 1-1 WITH INDY ELEVEN
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Rowdies earned a road point Saturday night at Michael A. Carroll Stadium after a 1-1 draw with the Indy Eleven.
Forward Brian Shriver opened his Rowdies account with a goal in the 48th minute in front of 10,421, but the Eleven equalized through Erick Norales in the 81st minute to earn the draw.
Neither team made a change to their opening night lineups, though Tampa Bay coach Ricky Hill did make one tactical adjustment, dropping Evans Frimpong from the front line into the midfield.
The Rowdies controlled most of the ball in the first half, with Anthony Wallace and Georgi Hristov connecting particularly well along the left wing.
"I was pretty happy, apart from the first 15 or 20 minutes where we take too long to try and get a pattern of our play and get the ball on the ground and pass it," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. "We have to be a lot braver in terms of the players being responsible to receive it and pass it. We have to be a little bit more determined to not turn the ball over."
The first decent chance of the match came in the 15th minute, when Frimpong played Hristov through on goal, but Kristian Nicht was there to make the save for Indy.
Three minutes later, Kleberson took a shot from about 30 yards out which rocketed off Matt Pickens’ crossbar and out for a goal kick.
Hristov had another few shots in the first half and helped to create some as well, including a 38th minute cross which was headed toward goal by Frimpong, but Nicht was again present to make the save.
Just after halftime, Rowdies left back Blake Wagner threaded a through ball to Shriver, who quickly finished past Nicht for his first Rowdies goal in the 48th minute.
"Brian Shriver was a threat throughout," Hill said. "He was very lively with his movement."
Indy showed its speed with a counterattack in the 67th minute, breaking quickly after a Rowdies free kick and setting up a three-on-three offensive opportunity. J.P. Rodrigues ended the danger with a quick step and got the ball out of play.
Kleberson nearly scored the equalizing goal in the 73rd minute, blasting a free kick from 30 yards out off the inside of Pickens’ right-hand goal post, but the Rowdies’ lead carried on.
Norales’ 81st minute equalizer was created by shifty work on the right wing by second-half substitute Dylan Mares. Mares created some space and slotted across the face of goal, slightly behind Norales, but the defender showed some flexibility in reaching back to poke the ball into the net."For a lion's share of the game, we did fairly well as a team," Hill said. "Through a lack of communication, we end up turning the ball over after we've averted the danger of a free kick and it ends up with an Indy Eleven player and two passes later, it's in the back of our net. We have to be a lot more focused. Our determination to ensure that doesn't happen has to be a lot greater. We're grateful when we put a point on the board. Is it two points dropped? It feels like it most definitely is. We have to be a little more ruthless when we're dominating games."
Rowdies: Brian Shriver - 48th minute (Assisted by Blake Wagner)
Indy: Erick Norales - 81st minute (Assisted by Dylan Mares)
Indy Eleven: Nicht (c); Estridge, Norales, Frias, Hyland; Ring, Kleberson, Corrado (Mendes 46'), Moore (Mares 78'), Ramirez; Ambersley
Rowdies: Pickens; Sanfilippo (c), Rodrigues, Yamada, Wagner; Frimpong, Hill, Russell, Wallace (Savage 81'); Shriver (Mkosana 73'), Hristov