Saturday, May 4, 2013
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders turned in a professional road performance to beat a much improved Rochester Rhinos side 1-0 at Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday night. Morgan Langley scored the match's only goal in the 37th minute off of an assist from Sainey Touray, and City Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble made five saves on the ten shots he faced to keep the clean sheet for visiting Harrisburg.
The Rhinos created their first opportunity of the match in the 16th minute when left winger Gabe Latigue played a through ball to striker Matt Luzunaris. The striker's first touch took him into the path of Noble in the Harrisburg penalty area, and Noble made a good stop on an aggressive challenge at Luzunaris' feet. The end result of the play, however, was a collision between Luzunaris and Noble that left Luzunaris with a broken leg. The Rhinos' striker was carted off the field and will have surgery to repair a broken tibia and fibula on Sunday morning.
After a seven-minute delay for the injury to Luzunaris, the City Islanders created their first chance of the match in the 28th minute. Harrisburg striker Sainey Touray started a counter off a corner kick and put Langley in behind the Rhinos' back four with a through-ball. Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht came off his line to clear the ball with his feet, but his clearance deflected off Langley and bounced into the penalty area. Langley was the first to the loose ball, but he was unable to control properly, which caused his resulting shot to be cleared off the goal line by Rhinos center back Georgios Kyriazis.
Nine minutes later, the City Islanders took the lead as midfielder Cris Hernandez took a corner kick from the right that Touray was able to flick across the Rhinos goalmouth with a near post header. Langley was able to get on the end of Touray's header at the back post and finish to give the visitors a 1-0 lead heading into half time.
Jarrisburg tried to add to its lead early in the second half, and Nicht made a big save in the 50th minute as City Islanders left winger Tim Mellor served a dangerous ball into the Rhinos penalty area that found Touray. The forward was able to direct his effort on goal, but Nicht was there to make a good reaction save to keep it a one-goal game.
The Rhinos responded in the 57th minute when a corner kick taken by Latigue was cleared by the City Islanders, but only as far as Rhinos right back Ross LaBauex at the top of the penalty area. LaBauex played the ball to Rhinos right winger Michael Reidy, and he served the ball into the box. Rhinos midfielder Tyler Rosenlund headed the ball on to substitute Matt Horth, but Horth's shot hit the crossbar and bounced clear.
In the 73rd minute Kyriazis and Reidy began to build out of the back for Rochester with a one-two combination. Kyriazis played a long diagonal ball to Rhinos substitute Kendell McFayden, and the forward put Horth in behind the City Islanders despite a handball from Harrisburg center back Coady Andrews. Referee Neil Barbulescu played the advantage, but blew the whistle and returned the ball to the spot of the hand ball when Horth's chance failed to materialize. Rhinos substitute Tam McManus took the resulting free kick from 35 yards out and put a blistering effort on goal, but Noble parried it over the crossbar to make the save.
In the 86th minute Kyriazis pumped a long ball into the City Islanders box that found the head of Rhinos center midfielder Lance Rozeboom, who headed the ball across the Harrisburg goalmouth to McManus, but his header went right at Noble. McFayden had the final chance of the match for Rochester in the 90th minute as he got in behind the City Islanders back four and cut in from the left flank on his favored right foot. McFayden tried to finish to the far post, but Noble got down to make the save and preserve his first clean sheet of the 2013 USL PRO season.
The Rochester Rhinos next match is on Friday night as they travel to Legion Stadium to face the Wilmington Hammerheads. The match can be viewed live via streaming video on UNATION at uslnation.com. Flex packages and group ticket sales are currently available for the remainder of the Rhinos' home schedule, and they can be purchased by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Individual tickets for the 2013 USL PRO season are also on sale now.