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Rowdies Clinch Top-Four Finish Against OCB

By AARON CRANFORD - aaron.cranford@uslsoccer.com, 10/12/17, 9:47PM EDT

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Tampa Bay tops Orlando 2-0, knocks rival out of playoff contention


Photo courtesy of PSP Images 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies topped Orlando City B 2-0 at Orlando City Stadium on Thursday evening, ending OCB’s hope of earning a spot in the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs while boosting their own positioning in the Eastern Conference. Georgi Hristov scored the game-winning goal via a header from a Marcel Schäfer delivery in the 74th minute. Sebastian Guenzatti added the insurance goal in second-half stoppage time to ensure the victory. The Rowdies finish the regular season with a 2-0-1 record against its Florida rival, improving to 14-7-11 overall this campaign. Meanwhile, OCB finishes the 2017 regular season with a 10-10-12 record, posting a 3-5-8 home record and a 7-5-4 away record.

Scoring:
74’ – TBR – Georgi Hristov (Marcel Schäfer)
90+3’ – TBR – Sebastian Guenzatti

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. With Thursday’s result at Orlando City Stadium, New York Red Bulls II, Bethlehem Steel FC and FC Cincinnati have all officially clinched a spot in the USL Cup Playoffs. Orlando had an opportunity to put pressure on the three clubs competing for postseason spots, but it needed to earn all three points in its final regular season matchup on Thursday.
  • 2. While Orlando finished its 2017 campaign on Thursday, it can still look back on an impressive season. The club showed well in a tough Eastern Conference, and many of the team’s young talents will surely be making waves for years to come. Pierre da Silva, 19, was named the No. 1 prospect in the 2017 edition of the USL 20 Under 20, and he finishes the season with three goals and seven assists.
  • 3. Tampa Bay clinches a top-four finish in the Eastern Conference with its victory over OCB, meaning it will host a USL Cup Playoffs match in its inaugural USL campaign. Currently, the club sits in second place in the conference, finishing the regular season with a 14-7-11 overall record. The Rowdies will be happy to have clinched a home playoff match, given their 11-1-4 record at Al Lang Stadium this year.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Marcel Schäfer, Tampa Bay Rowdies –
The midfielder provided the assist on the game-winning goal and also completed 87.8 percent of his passes on the evening.

Upcoming Games:
Orlando City B
– End of season
Tampa Bay Rowdies – Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, TBA

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