The New York Red Bulls II lost a tough road match to the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday night.
Juan Tejada’s double powered the home side to a statement victory. The Rowdies came into the match tied with NYRBII at the top of the Eastern Conference, and as the only undefeated team in USL. They emerged from the match in sole possession of first place, defeating NYRBII 2-0.
Juan Tejada opened the scoring for the Rowdies in the 29th minute. Following an Andrew Tinari corner kick, NYRBII failed to clear the ball. As the loose ball bounced in the six yard box, Tejada pounced, and fired the ball into the back of the net.
NYRBII struggled to create chances. The Rowdies high press created problems for NYRBII’s midfield. They struggled completing simple passes and holding possession. As a result, the attack largely relied on long balls to relieve pressure. That left Mathias Jørgensen starved for service, and ineffective.
The Rowdies continued to exert their dominance in the second half. In the 58th minute, Kwadwo Poku got free down the right wing. He crossed low, evading NYRBII’s defenders and finding Tajada at the back post. Tejada slammed the ball into the net for his second goal of the night.
Following the second goal, NYRBII gained significant possession for the first time on the night. The Rowdies took their foot of the gas, giving the NYRBII a chance to create more danger, but they could not take advantage. The normally active NYRBII attack managed just two shots on target all night.
Late in the match, NYRBII’s Sean McSherry suffered an awful injury. The second half substitute had to be stretchered off the field following a challenge from Dominic Oduro. Oduro slid in late, injuring McSherry’s right leg. The challenge earned Oduro a red card.
NYRBII falls to 6-2-2 on the season following the loss, collecting a single point during their two match road swing. They return to MSU Soccer Park next weekend to take on North Carolina FC.
Photo by John Perdicaro