Game Recaps presented by Wells Fargo
ROCHESTER, NY (Oct. 1, 2016) — The Charlotte Independence were knocked out of the USL Playoffs on Saturday night by defending league champion the Rochester Rhinos with a final score of 3-1.
Wal Fall and Steevan Dos Santos each scored before halftime for the Rhinos, while Sofiane Tergou added a third from close range in the 70thminute. Independence substitute Aly Hassan netted a consolation goal in the 76th minute for Charlotte, who finished the match with just eight players.
Bilal Duckett was shown an early yellow for bringing down Dos Santos, who looked to get onto the end of a long pass over the top of the Charlotte defense. Rochester’s Fall made it 1-0 from the resulting free-kick in the 7th minute, when his curling shot from distance beat John Berner.
The Rhinos then struck for a second time against the run of play, as Duckett was caught in possession allowing Dos Santos to pinch the ball five-yards outside the box before dispatching beyond Berner in the 24th minute.
Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries made three changes at halftime, bringing on Jorge Herrera, Jack Metcalf and Hassan in hopes to spur his side on.
With the hosts absorbing pressure after the restart, Brian Brown saw the ball fall to him inside the box, but he fired an effort into the defender.
Rochester nearly found a third on 51 minutes when Christian Volesky played a ball across goal, only for it to go beyond Dos Santos at the back post before he sent his own shot wide of the target on the hour mark.
But Tergou did make it 3-0 in the 70th minute from close range when he beat his defender to the ball inside the box. Hassan brought one back for the Independence six minutes later when he poked Brown’s superb cross in over the keeper.
But the game began to unravel from there for the Independence. Metcalf was shown a straight red 10 minutes from full-time for a challenge on Fall, which was compounded as Jun Marques Davidson received his second yellow in the aftermath.
Joe Greenspan had a chance to make it a one-goal game in the 86th minute, but he sent his header from Herrera’s corner wide of the post. The match then came to a close with Enzo Martinez being shown a red card in the final minute of stoppage time.
Rochester now advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals to face the winner of Sunday’s New York Red Bulls II vs. Orlando City B quarterfinal, while the Independence’s season comes to an end.
Rochester: Gomez, Kamdem, James (Samuel 71), Apostolopous, Farrell, Fall, Forbes (Gaoussou 88), Tergou, Beresford (Totsch 85), Dos Santos (Kyriazis 74), Volesky (Samuels 85).
Unused subs: Lynd (GK), Guilavogui.
Goals: Fall (7), Dos Santos (24), Tergou (70)
Bookings: Tergou, Totsch.
Charlotte: Berner, Slogic, Duckett, Kalungi (Greenspan 78), Johnson (Metcalf 46), Davidson, Hilton (Ekra 59), E. Martinez, Brown, Estrada (Herrera 46), A. Martinez (Hassan 46).
Unused subs: Mizell (GK), Clowes.
Goals: Hassan (76).
Bookings: Duckett, Davidson, E. Martinez.
Red card: Metcalf, Davidson, E. Martinez.
— Compiled by Allen Gunn, Charlotte Independence