The Rochester Rhinos finished off a pair of weekend matches by hosting the Orlando City Lions at Sahlen’s Stadium on Sunday night. An early goal by Orlando’s Jamie Watson was all that the Lions would need as the visitors came away with a one goal win in front of 4,958 fans ending the Rhinos six game unbeaten streak.
Orlando scored the first and only goal of the match in the 19th minute when a ball was lobbed into the box that was run onto by Watson. Watson beat Rochester goalkeeper Neal Kitson to the ball and eluded a defender placing the ball into an open net for an early one goal lead.
Rochester came close to returning the favor two minutes later after Tyler Rosenlund dribbled into the box dishing the ball off to Tony Donatelli. Donatelli’s blast was pushed over the crossbar by Orlando ‘keeper Miguel Gallardo. Back-to-back corner kicks by the Rhinos in the 23rd minute failed to produce an equalizer.
The latter portion of the first stanza saw the Rhinos apply pressure, creating several scoring chances, but couldn’t manage to put the ball away. Just moments before the half, Rochester’s Andrew Hoxie was able to turn just outside the Orlando 18 and chip a ball past four defenders to an on-running Donatelli. Donatelli was able to put the ball on goal but Gallardo got a piece deflecting the ball wide.
Rochester continued to apply pressure to begin the second half and continued throughout most of it. Max Ferdinand and Kendall Jagdeosingh’s two-man game nearly resulted in a scoring chance before being whistled down on an offside call. Hoxie had a good look from the corner 15 yards out but drove his shot into the side-netting.
Later Rochester’s Issac Kissi managed to weave his way through a trio of defenders, attempting to slide a ball through to JC Banks, however an Orlando defender denied the opportunity.
Despite the pressure applied, the Rhinos could not crack the Orlando defense falling at home for the first time this season. The loss puts Rochester at
8-5-3 in 2011.
"We caused their defense a lot more problems than we did six weeks ago when we tied 0-0" said Rhinos Head Coach Bob Lilley. "I thought we kept tabs. They have an explosive attack. We've been on a great unbeaten run in the league and now our job is to start another one."
Rochester will remain at home when they host FC New York at Sahlen’s Stadium on Friday, July 8 at 8:00 p.m.