Game Recaps presented by Wells Fargo
CHARLOTTE, NC (Sept. 17, 2016) – The Rochester Rhinos (12-5-12) defeated the Charlotte Independence (14-8-7) through Steevan Dos Santos’ 42nd minute penalty kick at Ramblewood Stadium on Saturday evening.
John Berner preserved the goal difference with an instinct save on Bradley Kamdem for the Wells Fargo Save of the Game 10 minutes from fulltime. But the Independence was unable to strike at the other end, as the club was held without a goal for the second-straight match.
Charlotte now must win at second-place Louisville on Sept. 24 to clinch a top-four finish and a home playoff game. “These fans deserve it [home playoff game], so we need to get it done for them,” said Charlotte Independence defender Bilal Duckett.
Enzo Martinez popped up on five minutes from outside the box, but rolled his attempt wide of the target, as Charlotte looked for a quick start after a scoreless draw at Richmond mid-week.
In a cagey first half, Rochester’s Ryan James came close to an opener when he fired a vicious shot across goal, which went wide of Berner’s right post in the 28th minute.
The Rhinos were awarded the penalty following a corner-kick when Lewis Hilton brought down Joseph Farrell inside the box. Despite guessing the correct way, Dos Santos powered his right-footed penalty past Berner three minutes before the break.
Charlotte had a bright start to the second half with consecutive corners that pinned Rochester deep in their end, but managed only one shot on target in that span.
“I didn’t feel like we were good enough and I think this stretch of matches caught up to us a little bit in how we played tonight,” said Charlotte Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “They gave us trouble defensively. We didn’t do enough to break them down and we didn’t move the ball quickly or well enough.”
Rochester nearly helped the hosts level the match when Georgios Kyriazis chested the ball down to his keeper, who had to keep it from crossing the line on 67 minutes.
The best chance to find an equalizer fell to second-half substitute Jun Marques Davidson at the edge of the box, but his vicious right-footed effort found the keeper’s grasp.
The Independence will conclude the 2016 regular season next Saturday, Sept. 24, at Louisville City FC (16-4-8). Charlotte fell 1-0 to Louisville in the season opener on March 26. Kickoff for the rematch is set for 7:30pm ET at Louisville Slugger Field.
Charlotte: Berner, Slogic (E. Martinez 83), Duckett, Greenspan, Metcalf (Estrada 58), Clowes (Davidson 58), E. Martinez, Hilton (Hassan 69), Herrera (Ochoa 88), Brown, Johnson.
Unused subs: Renfro (GK), Kalungi.
Bookings: Clowes, Greenspan, Herrera, Johnson.
Rochester: Gomez, Kamdem (Beresford 83), Apostolopous, Farrell, Kyriazis (Samuel 77), James, Forbes (Gauosso 95), Fall, Tergou, Volesky (Garzi 77), Dos Santos (Samuels 92).
Unused subs: Llyn (GK), Gullavogui.
Goals: Dos Santos (PEN 42)
Bookings: Fall, Apostolopoulos, Forbes
— Compiled by Allen Gunn, Charlotte Independence