Friday, April 26, 2013
PLANT CITY, Fla. -- The Dayton Dutch Lions took their second consecutive victory to open the USL PRO season as they defeated VSI Tampa Bay FC 1-0 on Friday night at Plant City Stadium. Second-half substitute Brandon Swartzendruber finished the only goal of the match, handing Tampa Bay its first home defeat of the season.
Both sides had chances in the first half, with Dayton going close in the opening 10 minutes as Irakli Khutsidze shot over the crossbar. Tampa Bay also had chances, with Douglas Dos Santos having his header saved by Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams in the 15th minute, and Tony Donatelli also being denied on a shot from distance later on in the half.
The back-and-forth battle continued into the second half, with Tampa Bay holding the upper hand as it pressed for the opening goal. VSI came close to opening the scoring just past the hour-mark, only for Williams to swat away a cross by Alex Freitas meant for Andriy Budnyy’s head as the Ukranian broke in unmarked at the far post.
Tampa Bay continued to press forward to try and find the opening goal, but the Dutch Lions would take the lead in the 68th minute soon after Swartzendruber was brought on as a substitute. The tall forward finished Eric Kissinger’s cross from the left into the near post, finding space before driving his finish home at the near post.
Tampa Bay almost got back on even terms four minutes later, Bitielo Jean-Jacques hitting the near post from a tight angle on the left. Tampa Bay had other chances to tie the game, Freitas shooting over from 15 yards from the right side of the penalty area and then clipping the top of the crossbar with a curling effort in stoppage time. Dayton was able to close out the victory, however, ending Tampa Bay's strong run of home form.
“We started with no energy and had the wrong mentality, I tell them all the time they have to earn the right to win a game, we got what we deserve,” said Head Coach Matt Weston. “We need to draw a line in the sand and move forward quickly into a good game against Orlando. We’ve got to stay positive and move forward with new energy into next Tuesday.”
The Dayton Dutch Lions now travel to face Orlando City on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. VSI Tampa Bay FC also visits Orlando for its next outing, visiting the Citrus Bowl on Tuesday night.