Photo courtesy Adrian Kraus / Rochester Rhinos
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos scored deep in stoppage time through Joe Farrell to earn a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday night at Capelli Sport Stadium. Both teams came out brightly, and the Red Bulls II created the first big chance in the 23rd minute when Vincent Bezecourt and Florian Valot linked up and Bezecourt shot just high and wide of the left corner. Rochester’s Kenardo Forbes also went close with a shot from the top of the penalty area that went just wide three minutes later. Darius Madison also fired well over for the Rhinos six minutes before the break and Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro made an excellent stop to deny Forbes, but Mike Garzi broke through in first-half stoppage time with a half-volleyed finish from 20 yards out to give the hosts the lead. New York hit back five minutes into the second half as Brandon Allen fired home from the left side of the penalty area, and almost took the lead eight minutes later when a shot by Florian Valot was saved. The Red Bulls II hit the front in the 65th minute, however, as a collision in the penalty area on a cross gave Vincent Bezecourt a chance to bury his fifth goal of the season. The Rhinos pressed late to get back on level terms, and with the final chance of the game earned an equalizer as Farrell got on the end of a long free kick by Kenardo Forbes to deny the Red Bulls II victory.
45+’ – ROC – Mike Garzi (Darius Madison)
50’ – NY – Brandon Allen (Justin Bilyeu)
65’ – NY – Vincent Bezecourt
90+’ – ROC – Joe Farrell (Kenardo Forbes)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Red Bulls II were on the verge of a major moment for a club that has accomplished a lot in its first two-plus seasons in the USL, but with the final breath the Rhinos preserved their undefeated all-time record against the defending USL Cup champion as Joe Farrell came through off a desperation free kick that came good for the hosts in their home opener. After all of the Rhinos’ late pressure it seemed that Vincent Bezecourt’s fifth goal of the season was going to stand as the winner, but New York will walk away shaking their heads wondering what they have to do to earn a win against their upstate New York rivals.
2. Rochester had threatened to take the lead in the final 10 minutes of the first half, and it took a spectacular save by Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro to deny Kenardo Forbes his first goal of the season on a curling finish that was pegged for the top-right corner of the net. There was little Louro could do in stoppage time, though, as the Rhinos got their build-up right and a good knock-down by Darius Madison set up Mike Garzi for a crisp, first-time finish into the left corner that gave the Rhinos a massive boost with almost the final kick of the first half.
3. 2016 USL Rookie of the Year Brandon Allen hasn’t got off to a flying start to the new season, but with his early second-half finish showed how dangerous he can be. Allen did a masterful job controlling possession with a defender on his back, and then opening up space on his lethal left foot to drive a low shot from the left side of the six-yard area into the opposite side-netting. Allen’s second goal of the season epitomized everything that makes him such a challenge to defend for opponents.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Joe Farrell, Rochester Rhinos – Farrell’s stoppage-time equalizer earned the Rhinos a valuable point in their home opener as the side responded to its tough defeat a week ago in Charleston.
Rochester Rhinos vs. Charlotte Independence – April 29, 6:05 p.m. ET, Capelli Sport Stadium
New York Red Bulls II vs. Harrisburg City Islanders – May 6, 4 p.m. ET, MSU Soccer Park