The Rochester Rhinos defeated the Dutch Lions 2:0 in Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday, July 7th. Rhinos left back Danny Earls opened the scoring in the 3rd minute, and substitute Isaac Kissi added the insurance goal in the 90th minute. The Rhinos USL PRO MVP candidate, winger JC Banks, assisted on Earls opener. He now has eight assists on the season - good for first in USL PRO and a tie for the third best single season in Rhinos history.
The Rochester Rhinos opened the scoring in the third minute of the match. Earls won a Dutch Lions clearance 40 yards out, and he played it wide to Banks on the left flank. Banks popped up his first touch, but used his second touch to flick the ball over the top of the Dutch Lions back four to an overlapping Earls. Earls finished left footed at the near post first time to give Rochester the lead 1:0.
In the 26th minute Rhinos striker Kendell McFayden pressured the Dutch Lions back four and created a turnover that center midfielder Michael Tanke picked up. Tanke knocked the ball out to Banks on the left flank. Banks drove into the box and hit a cracking shot on goal. Dutch Lions goalkeeper Matt Williams was able to parry the shot over the cross bar.
Earls drove the ball into the near post on the ensuing corner kick. Right winger Quavas Kirk was able to flick a header on frame from the near post, but it hit the crossbar and bounced back into play.
The Dutch Lions had their first chance of the match in the 36th minute. Earls was pushed up into the attack on the left flank, but the Rhinos lost possession of the ball in the final third. The Dutch Lions countered into the open space on the Rhinos left flank with Aikeem Priestley. Priestly played an early ball in behind the Rhinos back four to striker Eli Garner. Garner drove into the box, but Rhinos center backs Tyler Bellamy and Troy Roberts were able to limit his space. His shot was a tame effort that was right at Rhinos goalkeeper Kristin Nicht.
The Rhinos injury concerns with starting forward Tam McManus continued when he was substituted in the 43rd minute. Andrew Hoxie replaced him, and was called into action right away. Tanke was whistled for a two footed tackle on the left flank about twenty-five yards out. Priestley drove the ensuing free kick into the penalty area, and a retreating Hoxie headed the service away on the Rhinos six yard line.
It was the last opportunity of the half, and Rochester took a 1:0 lead into half time.
The Rochester Rhinos opened the second half with an immediate opportunity in the 46th minute. Hoxie controlled a ball at the top of the final third and delivered a delicate through ball to McFayden. McFayden took one touch and applied a finishing touch, but his shot hit the cross bar and bounced clear.
Five minutes later the Dutch Lions responded with a chance of their own. Priestley was able to get into space down the left flank, and played Garner in behind the Rhinos back four. Garner had a strike on goal, but Nicht kept it out with his biggest save of the night - a diving save to his right.
In the 75th minute the Dutch Lions had their best chance of the second half. Substitute Gibson Bardsley got loose down the right flank, and he dribbled the ball to the end line. Bardsley blistered a cross that trickled across the goal line, but no one from Dayton could get a foot on the ball to supply the finishing touch.
In the 90th minute the Rochester Rhinos secured all three points. Bellamy headed a Dutch Lions cross into the box clear, and the ball came out to Hoxie. Hoxie took one touch to settle and then played Kissi in behind on a counter attack. Kissi ran on to the ball, bounced off the last Dutch Lions defender, and dribbled in alone on Williams. Kissi feinted once and finished to Williams left for his first goal of the season.
Rhinos goalkeeper Krisitan Nicht faced five shots and made two saves to keep the clean sheet. It was Nicht and the Rhinos fist shut out in USL PRO play since Saturday, May 12th in a 1:0 victory over Charleston. He is now tied with Battery goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra for the USL PRO lead in shutouts with seven.
The next Rhinos home game is Saturday, July 21st at 7PM against Pittsburgh in Sahlen's Stadium.