Friday, August 3, 2012
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Orlando City took a 1-0 victory against the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen’s Stadium on Friday night as Lions forward Jamie Watson scored the game’s only goal in the 65th minute on a 3-on-2 after beating D Troy Roberts with a fake from eight yards. The third-placed Charleston Battery trails the Rhinos by four points after a 2-2 tie tonight against the Wilmington Hammerheads at Blackbaud Stadium.
The Lions opened the game with an offensive barrage off two free kicks, and two corners in the first 10 minutes of play. The Rhinos finally answered in the 15th minute with a shot from a free kick 28 yards out by Danny Earls that was juggled by backup Lions goalkeeper Sean Kelley.
The first 45 minutes of play were dominated by the Lions' midfield. Orlando used short passing to pick apart the Rhinos and maintain the majority of possession. Dennis Chin, USL PRO’s league-leader in goals with 11, nearly scored for the Lions in the 27th minute off an Adama Mbengue cross, but the pass was just out of his reach Chin.
In the 30th minute the Rhinos had their best chance at a goal in the first half when they nearly scored twice off a corner kick by Earls, which found the head of George Kyriazis who put it on goal, but it bounced off the hands of Kelley. JC Banks then had a chance with a header of his own but it was cleared by a Lions defender.
The Lions had their first scoring chance of the second half in the 59th minute after a short breakaway by Chin. However, Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht made a tremendous save with his right foot to keep the game level. Nicht made another save in the 63rd minute on a diving save off a shot by Jamie Watson. Watson would score two minutes later, however, as he capped a quick counter-attack with his third goal in two games.
Both teams finished down a man, with Banks being sent off in the 76th minute after receiving his second yellow card after a late tackle on Mbengue. In the 80th minute, Mbengue was sent off after being given a second yellow after a hard tackle on the Rhinos' Andrew Hoxie.
Hoxie nearly equalized in stoppage time as his header from eight yards from a cross by Quavas Kirk was stopped by a diving Kelley, allowing the Orlando goalkeeper to preserve his shutout, and the Lions' victory.
The next Rhinos home game is scheduled for Saturday, August 11th at 7:05 PM against the Charleston Battery at Sahlen’s Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by calling 585-454-KICK, by visiting rhinossoccer.com, or by visiting any Ticketmaster retail location.