The Rochester Rhinos defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 3-0 on Friday at Sahlen’s Stadium to clinch a USL PRO playoff spot.
Isaac Kissi, Connor Tobin and Andrew Hoxie all scored to boost the Rhinos (10-6-3, 33 pts.) to victory over a streaking Pittsburgh team. The Riverhounds (6-10-5, 23 pts.) entered the game on a six game unbeaten streak, but the Rhinos got off to a quick start to beat Pittsburgh by the same score as when the two teams met on June 17 in Edinboro, Penn.
Kissi opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he finished a Tony Donatelli ball from inside the six yard box. J.C. Banks served the ball in from the left flank and Donatelli redirected it into the path of Kissi for the tap-in.
Rochester doubled its lead in the 35th minute when Banks’ corner kick found the head of Tobin, whose glancing header beat Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap at the far post.
After out-shooting Pittsburgh 7-2 in the first half and taking a 2-0 lead into halftime, Pittsburgh picked up momentum in the final 30 minutes of the match and pressured the Rhinos. Neal Kitson made six saves on the evening, including a big save in 85th minute on a header from Riverhounds forward Matt Fondy. It was Kitson’s seventh shutout of the season.
Five minutes later, the Rhinos would bury the game. Tyler Rosenlund was taken down in the box and Hoxie stepped up to take the penalty kick. Hoxie sent the shot to Gilstrap’s right, slammed it off the inside of the post and the ball trickled across the line and into the far side netting to ice the game and give Rochester the 3-0 victory.
“Overall it was a good performance,” Rhinos Head Coach Bob Lilley said. “There were some anxious moments late. Pittsburgh has been on a good role. Give them credit, they didn’t shut down.”
The Rhinos will go on a two game road swing next weekend with a match against the Charlotte Eagles on Friday, July 29, and a match against the Charleston Battery on Saturday, July 30.