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Rowdies defeat UCF 3-0 in preseason match.

New Zealander Jeremy Christie looks to move Tampa forward.

Even though most of the team has only been playing together for less than a month, the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies continued their impressive preseason with a 3-0 victory against the University of Central Florida, in front of a crowd of about 400 spectators.

From start to finish, UCF was no match for Tampa Bay, who kept most of the play in UCF’s defensive zone. Tampa’s started off the first minutes of the game kind of cautious, not pouncing on early UCF mistakes. In addition to the cautious game, the Rowdies didn’t look to push the ball as much as they could have . But toward the 27th minute, UCF looked to add a little bit of pressure on Tampa, with their first shot of the match.

This attempt by UCF must have awaken Tampa Bay, as two minutes later Japanese midfielder Takuya Yamada scored from 35 yards out to give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, the Rowdies could have taken a 2-0 lead, but Adam Nowland’s shot hit the crossbar. Nowland would also have a few more quality opportunities on goal, but was unable to score.

In the 35th minute, it looked like Tampa might have gone up 2-0, but Aaron Wheeler’s was just a tad offside. Pascal Millien, who had less than an impressive game in front of his hometown fans, crossed the ball into the penalty area, which was deflected toward the head of the offside Wheeler.

Going into the second half, Tampa looked to continue their offensive pressure. In the 48th minute, Aaron King rifled home a shot from about 15 yards out to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead. In the 56th minute, Yendry Diaz, who had a less-than-impressive game defensively, was able to head the ball into the net to give the Rowdies a 3-0 game, which is how the match would finish.

In addition to the quality play of Aaron King and Aaron Wheeler, Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe and Stanley Nyazamba had quality games as well. Adjeman-Pamboe added an offensive spark on the left wing during the second half, which was desperately missing in the first. And Nyazamba was all over the pitch, not only stopping the ball defensively, but creating offensive and counter-attack chances as well.

After the match, Tampa Bay coach Paul Dalglish was happy with the play of his team. He said that he was very please at the fact that his team was able to get the clean sheet. With the exception of the last third of the match, Dalglish said that he was quite happy with how his team performed. He also said that the next few weeks will be important as far as the development of the team, and will help determine their success for the upcoming season.

Andrew Nestor, co-chairman of the Rowdies, also said that he has a lot of confidence in his team. Speaking of the last few preseason matches, he felt that Tampa Bay could have easily scored two or three more goals against both Dallas and Philadelphia.

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