The Rochester Rhinos lost their six match shutout streak, but salvaged a point with a 1-1 draw against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday, May 18th
in Sahlen's Stadium.
Gibson Bardsley scored the first goal of the season against the Rochester Rhinos in the 28th
minute, but the Rhinos responded with a 74th
minute goal from substitute Quavas Kirk to level the match and rescue a point. The Rochester Rhinos remain in second place in the USL PRO table after the result
In the 21st minute the Dutch Lions threatened the Rhinos scoreless minutes streak for the first time in the match. The Dutch Lions Nixon Dias avoided the attention of Rhinos center midfielder Drew Cost at the top of the box. Rhinos winger JC Banks was pinched in defensively and stepped to Dias' shot. The shot deflected off of Banks and over the endline for a corner kick. Dutch Lions midfielder Mikael McNamara drove the ensuing corner kick into the box, but Banks was there to clear it off the line for the Rhinos.
In the 28th minute the Dutch Lions ended the Rhinos scoreless streak at 568 consecutive minutes and put Rochester behind for the first time in 2012. Dutch Lions midfielder Kyle Knotek crossed the ball into the Rhinos box. After a Dias dummy Bardsley latched onto the ball at the far post eleven yards away from the Rhinos goal. Bardsley finished the ball past Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht to give the Dutch Lions a shock 1:0 lead over the Rhinos.
Rochester came close to responding immediately when Banks got in behind the Dutch Lions defense one minute later, but he failed to finish from six yards out.
The Rhinos trailed 1:0 at the half for the first time in 2012.
The Dutch Lions came out of halftime and should have put the game out of reach in the 49th minute. The Dutch Lions played a through ball in behind the Rhinos back four that Bardsley was able to run onto. He took a touch past the onrushing Nicht, and he had an empty net to shoot at from ten yards out but failed to finish.
One minute later Dutch Lions winger Eli Garner played a dangerous ball into the near post that Roberts had to get away with a sliding clearance.
In the 54th minute tempers would flare and head referee David Mon would have to issue his first caution of the match. Banks got stuck into a 50/50 tackle with Dutch Lions center back Mettin Copier. Copier appeared to foul Banks when they were on the ground and Rhinos forward Thomas McManus took exception to the incident. McManus and Copier were separated after some pushing and shoving.
Mon was involved again four minutes later when the Rhinos had an appeal for a penalty. McManus was dragged down from behind in the box by Dutch Lions center back Joel DeLass. Mon had a good look at the incident and decided there was no penalty despite the protests of McManus.
Nicht made a save to keep the Rhinos in the match in the 64th minute. Rochester's back four were stretched and Roberts was dragged out to the right flank to challenge Garner's cross. Garner took advantage of the space to play into Bardsley at the near post. Bardsley spun and shot the ball, but Nicht made a kick save at the near post.
The Rhinos found the equalizer in the 74th minute. Banks took a corner kick from the left flank into a crowded Dutch Lions box. Rhinos substitute Quavas Kirk found himself on the end of the service at the far post and directed it into the upper right hand corner to level the score at 1:1.
The Rhinos and Dutch Lions were both unable to find the winner in the last 15 minutes.
Rochester entered the match one point behind Orlando City with a match in hand. Friday night's fixture resolved the match in hand, but left the Rhinos in second place to City on goal differential. The Dutch Lions remained on the bottom of the table after Friday night's draw, but they took a valuable away point in Rochester.
The Rhinos next home game is in the Second Round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 22nd against the Brooklyn Italians in Sahlen's Stadium at 7:30PM.
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