Bright Dike's second-half goal sent the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies to their fourth consecutive defeat in the USSF Division II as they fell 1-0 to the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.
Dike put in a strong performance throughout the night, hitting the post and the crossbar in the first half, and he was rewarded in the 73rd minute as his low shot to the right post beat Daryl Sattler for his first goal in the league this season.
The Timbers needed a slice of luck for the goal, as George Josten charged down Rob Valentino's attempted clearance about 30 yards from goal. The ball came straight to Dike on the right, unmarked due to Valentino's attempt to clear, and he made no mistake with his finish.
The Rowdies struggled for most of the night to connect passes together, the Timbers' pressure in midfield making it difficult for the team to get the ball into dangerous positions. When they managed that, they had chances, JJ Adjeman-Pamboe ringing a shot off the crossbar in the 54th minute and Yendry Diaz, being used as a forward instead of his normal defensive position, having a header saved by Timbers goalkeeper Steven Cronin.
Dike, though, was the best player on the field, his pace and power proving a handful for the Rowdies' defense. He almost gave the Timbers the lead when a misjudged bounce allowed him behind the defense, only for his drive to go off the left post in the 42nd minute. He was then slipped in three minutes later after a nice series of passes, but his shot rang off the crossbar.
With the win the Timbers jumped above the Rowdies in the USL Conference standings. Without a league win since May, the Rowdies will need to turn things around before the visit of Miami FC on Sunday.