Photo courtesy Matt Wittmeyer / Rochester Rhinos
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A first-half goal by Ryan Felix proved the difference as the Rochester Rhinos defeated Ottawa Fury FC 1-0 on Saturday night at Capelli Sport Stadium. Ottawa pressed the game early, but the Rhinos (5-1-5, 20pts) took the lead in the 19th minute after a good spell of their own. A corner from the right by Kenardo Forbes was headed home by Felix into the left corner of the net. Fury FC’s Sito Seoane fired a low effort into the left side-netting from a tight angle with five minutes to go before halftime, but the Rhinos continued to have the better of the play either side of the halftime break. Jochen Graf almost doubled the Rhinos’ lead early in the second half as his shot from the right side of the penalty area went just wide of the near post, and Stefan Defregger also flashed a shot wide of the left post from a similar position a few minutes later. Fury FC (4-4-4, 16pts) almost found an equalizer midway through the second half on a bizarre play that saw an attempted clearance by the Rhinos deflect off a pair of players and carom off the crossbar before hustled away to safety. The chance seemed to energize the visitors, who began to gain the upper hand in the final 20 minutes. As in their last two home outings against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC Cincinnati, though, the Rhinos held firm late to earn all three points.
19’ – ROC – Ryan Felix (Kenardo Forbes)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Coming off a trip to Florida last week and a visit to face the New England Revolution in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Rochester Rhinos couldn’t have been faulted for seeming a little gassed going into Saturday night’s contest. The squad’s depth came to the fore, however, as the Rhinos looked consistently the sharper of the two sides in the first hour of the game after an early spell that saw Ottawa threaten, but not create much danger. The opening goal after 19 minutes was certainly deserved, coming after a good spell that saw the Rhinos find success in the attacking half, and Ryan Felix’s header was perfectly placed to give the hosts the edge.
2. Returning alongside fellow former Rhinos players Onua Obasi and Lance Rozeboom to Capelli Sport Stadium for the first time since his offseason move, Saturday’s game saw Steevan Dos Santos in the spotlight against the side he scored 16 goals for over the past two regular seasons. There was no happy homecoming for the Cape Verde forward, however, as he was limited to only one shot off target and once chance created before being substituted in the 59th minute. The team’s late surge, which paid off in its last road game against Bethlehem, didn’t produce on this occasion, ending the side’s four-game undefeated streak.
3. It’s not often that a 5-0 defeat can be looked at as a positive turning point for a season, but the Rhinos’ defeat two months ago against the Charleston Battery is looking like just that right now. The Rhinos are now undefeated in eight games, and have conceded only five goals in that span to make a move into the top four of the Eastern Conference standings. The Rhinos still have work to do to push closer to the top, but coming through visits from the likes of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, FC Cincinnati and now Fury FC with victories at Capelli Sport Stadium are certainly impressive.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Ryan Felix, Rochester Rhinos – Felix’s first goal of the season was added to by five interceptions defensively as the Rhinos extended their undefeated streak to eight games.
Rochester Rhinos vs. Orlando City B – June 23, 7:05 p.m. ET, Capelli Sport Stadium
Ottawa Fury FC vs. Orlando City B – June 20, 11 a.m. ET, TD Place