Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Rowdies vs. Alcanenense (Exhibition Game)

RIO MAIOR, Portugal (March 6, 2015) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies will be coming home Sunday from the preseason tour of Portugal with two wins, a loss and now a draw following Friday’s 1-1 deadlock against Alcanenense in Rio Maior.
Maicon Santos scored his first goal of the preseason in the first half, nodding home a Georgi Hristov corner kick with his head in the 15th minute. Alcanenense tied the match with a penalty kick in the 66th minute. Neither team would score again.
Rowdies Head Coach Thomas Rongen selected a strong starting lineup for the match, picking an XI based on the best performers from the Rowdies’ first three matches in Portugal. Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa wore the captain’s armband.
The Rowdies started the match slowly, possessing the ball for long stretches but without a cutting edge to create viable scoring chances.
Hristov’s corner kick on the quarter hour mark broke the match open, with tall Brazilian forward Maicon Santos leaping to meet the ball with a glancing header toward the back post and beyond Alcanenense’s goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead.
The Rowdies made four changes at the half and were forced into a fifth very quickly when Tamika Mkandawire clashed legs with another player and was withdrawn from the match for precautionary reasons. He is not expected to miss practice Saturday.
With the team undergoing changes, it took some time for the Rowdies to settle into the second half.
Young forward Darwin Espinal provided a consistent outlet down the right wing after halftime, creating numerous scoring chances with his speed. A couple of times, Espinal would beat his defender one-on-one, dribble into the box and cross for a teammate to shoot. JeffMichaud and Hristov each had scoring opportunities created by Espinal, but both sent their efforts just over the crossbar.
With the final whistle, the playing portion of the Rowdies’ tour of Portugal ended. The team has one full day left in Rio Maior before returning home to Tampa Bay on Sunday night.

Rowdies: Contofalsky; King (Chavez 46’), Mkandawire (Agbossoumonde 53’), Antonijevic (Rusin 46’), Sweat; Saragosa (c) (Guerra 74’), Savage (Michaud 46’), Hristov; Boggs (Nunez 46’), Santos (Shriver 70’), Espinal

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