Rochester, New York -
The Rochester Rhinos played to a 2:2 draw with the Harrisburg City Islanders in Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014. Clesio Bauque scored both goals for visiting City. Tony Walls opened the scoring for Rochester in the first half, and JC Banks scored the equalizer for the Rhinos in the second half.
The match had playoff implications for both sides. Entering the evening nine teams were separated by only seven points in the USL PRO table with three weeks left to play in the 2014 season. After the result Rochester moved into a tie for sixth place with Charleston Battery, and Harrisburg remained in fifth place – two points clear of the chasing Rhinos and Battery. However, four matches involving seven teams in the playoff hunt remain to be played on Saturday night and Sunday.
The Rhinos opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Rochester's left back Onua Thomas Obasi and holding midfielder Walls stood over a free kick 25 yards out in the middle of the field. Obasi ran over the ball with a left footed dummy run, but Walls struck his right footed shot into the upper left corner of the visitor's net to give the home side a one goal lead.
Harrisburg drew level in the 37th minute. City midfielder Yann Ekra played a long ball into the Rhinos penalty area from forty-five yards out. The ball sailed over the head of Rochester center back Kyle Hoffer, but bounced in front of rookie goalkeeper John McCarthy. During the missed communication in the home side's penalty area, Islanders striker Bauque got on the end of the ball, took a touch around McCarthy, and finished into the empty net.
Five minutes later Bauque scored his second goal in similar fashion. This time Ekra played a perfectly waited ball from 35 yards out that split Hoffer and fellow center back Babacar Diallo. Bauque ran on to the ball at the top of the Rhinos box, and shot the ball under McCarthy to give the visitors the lead.
Rochester leveled the score from the penalty spot through Banks in the 54th minute.
The Rochester Rhinos will travel to Harrisburg on Saturday, August 30th at 7PM for the return leg of their 2014 series with the Islanders. Rochester will conclude the 2014 USL PRO regular season in Sahlen's Stadium on Sunday, September 7th at against the Wilmington Hammerheads at 4:05PM.