Saturday, July 7, 2012
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 2-0 at Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday night, moving the Rhinos into second place in the USL PRO standings. Rhinos left back Danny Earls opened the scoring, and substitute Isaac Kissi added the insurance goal in the final minute.
The 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. The assist was Banks' eighth of the – good for first in USL PRO and tied for the third-best single season in Rhinos history.
The Rhinos came close to doubling their lead in the 26th minute when 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, and the winger drove into the penalty area and hit a cracking shot on goal that Dutch Lions goalkeeper Matt Williams was able to parry over the crossbar.
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 Akeem Priestley, who played an early ball in behind the Rhinos' back four to Eli Garner. The rookie drove into the penalty area, only for Rhinos center backs Tyler Bellamy and Troy Roberts to limit his space, resulting in 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 25 yards out, and Priestley drove the ensuing free kick into the penalty area, and a retreating Hoxie headed the service away six yards from goal.
Rochester opened the second half with an immediate opportunity in the 46th minute when Hoxie controlled a ball at the top of the final third and delivered a delicate through ball to McFayden. The striker took one touch and applied a finishing touch, but his shot hit the crossbar 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 stop 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 penalty area clear, and the ball came out to Hoxie, who 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 where he 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 first shutout in USL PRO play since Saturday, May 12th in a 1-0 victory against Charleston. He is now tied with Battery goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra for the USL PRO lead in shutouts with seven.