ROWDIES DROP SECOND PRESEASON MATCH AGAINST MALMO FF
BRADENTON, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rowdies were second best Thursday night, falling 4-0 to Swedish powerhouse Malmö FF 4-0 in an exhibition match at IMG Academy Stadium.
Rowdies coach Thomas Rongen again played a trialist-heavy lineup to assess players early with nearly two months still remaining before the Rowdies’ 2015 North American Soccer League season opener on April 4 in San Antonio. Four trialists started the match and 10 of 12 players to appear in the second half were trialists.
The teams played a well-contested first 30 minutes, with the Rowdies standing toe-to-toe with the reigning Swedish champions. Malmö FF is the winningest team in Sweden, with 21 Allsvenskan league championships to its name. The club competed in the group stage of the 2014-2015 UEFA Champions League against Atletico Madrid (Spain,) Juventus (Italy) and Olympiacos (Greece.)
With the match scoreless through 30 minutes, Malmö’s Magnus Wolf Eikrem opened the scoring after a Rowdies defensive lapse in the 32nd minute. Malmö was awarded a free kick near the corner flag and took it quickly, delivering the ball in to Eikrem before the Rowdies had set up defensively. Eikrem turned and fired on goal. Trialist goalkeeper Chris Glodack got a glove on it, but was unable to stop the shot.
Malmö doubled the lead in the 42nd minute when Markus Rosenberg found space in the box for a shot. The Swedes were back at it just a minute later when Erik Johansson headed a corner kick past Glodack for Malmö’s third goal.
The second half was much choppier, but the Rowdies again held their own against the Europeans. Pawel Cibicki scored Malmö’s only goal of the second half in the 69th minute.
The Rowdies had several scoring chances themselves, but were ultimately unable to beat goalkeeper Robin Olssen on the night, falling 4-0.
Malmo - Eikrem - 32 Minute (Assisted by Yotun)
Malmo - Rosenberg - 42 Minute (Assisted by Berget)
Malmo - Johansson - 43rd Minute (Assisted by Eikrem)
Malmo - Cibicki - 69th minute (Assisted by Rosenberg)
Malmo FF: Olsen; Tinnerholm (Konate 46'), Johansson, Helander, Yotun (Hammar 67'); Sana (Johansson 67'), Adu (Cibicki 46'), Lewicki, Eikrem; Rosenberg (Rakip '77), Berget (Mehmeti 77')
Rowdies First Half: Glodack*; King, Yamada*, Agbossoumonde, Portillos*; Chavez, Nuñez, Savage; Shriver, Barbara*, Hertzog
Rowdies Second Half: Glodack*; Balchin*, Yamada* (Gonzalez 67'), Antonijevic, Barrientos*; Michaud*, Fernandez*, Paez*; Hernandez, Walker*, Boggs*
* Indicates trialist