Memphis 901 FC overcame a 2-1 second-half deficit in the last fifteen minutes to defeat the Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-2.
Memphis 901 FC returned home from a two-game road trip to face Tampa Bay, who came into the game in second place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference. University of Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan performing the traditional pregame guitar smash.
901 FC came out of the gates controlling the ball and continued to dominate possession for the majority of the game. However, in the 20th minute, Rowdies striker Charlie Dennis scored off a beautiful pass from goalkeeper Connor Sparrow.
The Beale Street Boys quickly responded with a Rodrigo Da Costa equalizer in the 28th minute to even the score. Memphis had a few more chances in the first half but were unable to capitalize on them, outshooting Tampa Bay seven to one before the half.
At halftime, the Rowdies made the first substitution of the game, bringing in striker Cal Jennings. The early move paid off for Tampa coach Stuart Dobson, as Jennings gave the Rowdies a 2-1 edge in the 52nd minute. Once again, the Rowdies scored from a quick advance by goalkeeper Connor Sparrow.
The second half saw an increase in intensity from both sides, including both a yellow card and a red card issued against Tampa Bay. However, neither team was able to put a shot on goal for nearly forty minutes.
After a couple of late substitutions from Memphis manager Stephen Glass, 901 FC scored their second goal of the game. In the 88th minute, midfielder Jeremy Kelly scored a header thanks to a beautiful cross from late substitute Rashawn Dally.
Off the ensuing kickoff, Memphis had a golden opportunity to take their first lead of the game, but they came up empty-handed on two consecutive shots on goal.
The line judge announced five minutes of stoppage time, and a Tampa foul in the box awarded 901 FC’s Aaron Molloy a penalty kick in the 97th minute. Tampa Bay keeper Connor Sparrow stopped the initial shot, but in a scramble, the ball deflected off Tampa defender Forest Lasso and into the net, propelling the Beale Street Boys to a 3-2 victory.
Rashawn Dally for Bruno Lapa (73’)
Nighte Pickering for Leston Paul (83’)
Samuel Alejandro Careaga for Rodrigo Da Costa (83’)
Dylan Borczak for Luiz Fernando (90+9’)
Tampa Bay remains in second place despite the loss, while the win keeps Memphis firmly in the playoff picture, as they added three points to their season tally, staying put in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
With seven games remaining, 901FC will look to build on this effort Saturday, as they host Monterey Bay FC at AutoZone Park. Kickoff is set for 7 P.M. CT.