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Rhinos Road Trip Off To Rough Start
The Charleston Battery leapfrogged the Rochester Rhinos in the USL PRO standings after a 2:1 victory in Blackbaud Stadium on Friday, August 15th, 2014. Maikel Chang opened the scoring in the 25th minute when he finished off an assist from Jared van Schaik. Jose Cuevas scored the match winning goal from the penalty spot in the 39th minute. JC Banks brought the Rhinos back to within one goal in the 86th minute, but the visiting side could not find an equalizer in the closing minutes of the match.
Chang's opening goal was the result of a rebound. Cuevas put a shot on goal that Rochester rookie goalkeeper John McCarthy was able to parry away. The rebound only went as far as van Schaik. Van Schaik settled the loose ball and held his composure before he slide a pass to Chang. Chang hit his shot on target and McCarthy appeared to make the save, but the ball was judged to have rolled over the goal line. The home side took a one-nil lead. The tally was Chang's second of the year and van Schaik's second assist.
The Rochester Rhinos conceded the match winning goal from the penalty spot for the second consecutive week. After an extended spell of possession from the Battery, the ball was recycled back to Charleston's veteran left back John Wilson. Wilson switched fields with a long ball to right back Quinton Griffith. Griffith brought Wilson's pass out of the air with his first touch, and then played a through ball to Jamaican striker Dane Kelly with his second touch. Charleston's ability to quickly change the point of attack caught the Rochester back four off-guard, and Kelly was able to get in behind Rhinos left back Onua Thomas Obasi. After Kelly got around the corner he dribbled into the Rochester penalty area. Rhinos center back Babacar Diallo tried to stay with Kelly, but the Jamaican forward had too much pace. Diallo stuck his foot in for the tackle, but he got too much of Kelly and knocked him to the turf. The head referee did not hesitate to point to the penalty spot. Cuevas stepped up to take the spot kick, sent Rhinos goalkeeper McCarthy the wrong way, and finished smartly into the upper right corner for his third goal of the season.
Banks closed out the scoring from a Rochester Rhinos corner kick. After instructions from Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley Rochester captain Tyler Rosenlund went down to the left corner and played a one-two with the corner kick taker Minh Vu on a short corner kick. The Battery were slow in recognizing and reacting to the set piece, and Vu was able to hit a free service into the home side's penalty area. Charleston midfielder Zachary Prince was the first to Vu's cross, but his header went straight up into the air. Rochester midfielder Tony Walls challenged the Battery's 6'4” Michael Ferguson for the loose ball in the air, and Walls was able to flick it on to Banks at the top of the six yard box. Banks was in the middle of field when he finished with a spectacular overhead kick to bring the visitors within a goal. The goal was Banks seventh of the season.
Time ran out on Rochester who fell into seventh place in the 2014 USL PRO table with 31 points from 24 matches. The Battery are now sixth place with 32 points from 24 matches.
The Rochester Rhinos close out their weekend trip to the Carolinas on Saturday, August 16th at 7PM against the Charlotte Eagles in Queens Sports Complex.