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Rowdies take over first place in USL Championship’s Eastern Conference

Tampa Bay routs Atlanta United 2 on the road to remain unbeaten.

KENNESAW, Ga. — The Tampa Bay Rowdies climbed into first place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference on Wednesday night with a 4-1 road win over Atlanta United 2.

The Rowdies (4-0-3, 15 points) fell behind midway through the first half, then reeled off four unanswered goals to remain unbeaten and claim their second road win of the season.

Leo Fernandes, Juan Tejada and Brandon Allen all scored (plus an own goal forced by David Najem) in the victory. Fernandes also had two assists.

Atlanta (3-3-1, 10 points) took the lead in the 35th minute on Luiz Fernando’s finish, but Fernandes equalized for the Rowdies in the 45th minute.

The second half was all Rowdies.

A Sebastian Guenzatti ball across the face of goal in the 67th minute was smartly dummied by Andrew Tinari, allowing it to run to Najem unmarked on the back post. Najem put his shot off the post and it rebounded off Atlanta defender George Campbell into the net to put Tampa Bay up 2-1.

The Rowdies controlled the tempo from there. They added a pair of insurance goals in the dying minutes with Tejada and Allen each scoring their first goals of the season in the 87th and 90th minutes, respectively. Both were assisted by Fernandes, who has a team-high four assists.

It was Tejada’s first professional goal.

The win moves the Rowdies into first place in the East, one point ahead of St. Louis FC. Tampa Bay is the first team to push its goal differential into double digits this season at +10.

The Rowdies host the Charlotte Independence on Saturday night at 7:30. All fans will receive a free Rowdies headband while supplies last.

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