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Eagles, Rhinos Finish Deadlocked
Both sides come close in scoreless draw on Friday night

Friday, April 19, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles and the Rochester Rhinos would play to a 0-0 draw in a steady downpour at Queens Sports Complex on Friday night. The result allowed the Eagles to maintain an undefeated start to the season, while the Rhinos claimed their first point.

The Rhinos would enjoy some good possession in the first 20 minutes but goalkeeper Eric Reed would turn them aside each time, Matt Horth also going close with a header that went wide of the mark. As the half wore on, however, Nate Thornton forced a diving stop by Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht, who turned the effort wide for a corner.

The Eagles continued to find opportunities in the first half, and would have two chances in the 30th minute as a shot by Stephen Okai traveled just wide of the post after being deflected by Nicht. On the ensuing corner, Shaun Francis would send a header just wide of the right post, leaving the game goalless at the break.

As the second half began, the rain grew heavier as both teams continued to exchange possession. Set pieces offered opportunities for both teams, with exchanged shots off corner kicks the closest either side would come to breaking the deadlock. The Eagles pushed hard late on for a game-winner, but the Rhinos defense offered few openings as the game ended scoreless.

"I felt like we had better possession in the second half but we couldn't quite get that final ball to click for us," said Eagles coach Mark Steffens. "It was kind of a box-to-box game where there weren't a lot of opportunities for either team."

The Rhinos move on to face the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET at City Stadium. The Eagles, meanwhile, will host Orlando City on Tuesday night at Queens Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. ET.

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