Rhinos drop Timbers 2-0 in Rochester
ROCHESTER, NY – Forward Matthew Delicate and midfielder Johnny Menyongar teamed up to score once again as the Rochester Rhinos defeated the Portland Timbers 2-0 on Saturday at PAETEC Park and gained sole possession of third place in the USL First Division.
Delicate scored his second goal of the season against the Timbers and Menyongar recorded his fifth assist of the season as Rochester (11-8-8, 40pts) extended its winning streak to four matches and claimed the season series against Portland. The combination of Delicate and Menyongar scored three of the Rhino's four goals against the Timbers in 2008.
Goalkeeper Chase Harrison, who was traded from Rochester to Portland in July, made two saves against his former club and midfielder Miguel Guante added an offensive spark in the second half for the Timbers (7-10-10, 21pts). Portland remains winless in six matches in Rochester, posting a 0-5-1 mark since 2001.
With the loss, Portland remains in eighth place in the USL First Division and sits just one point behind the Minnesota Thunder and Atlanta Silverbacks in a two-way tie for seventh. The top seven teams advance to the postseason.
The Rhinos constant offensive pressure generated numerous chances in and around the box on Saturday. Rochester finished the match with nine shots and 13 corner kicks against the Timbers.
Once the game settled in, Rochester looked destined to find the back of the net pressuring Harrison and the Timbers backline into making several key stops. Harrison made a great stop on a free kick by former Timbers midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer for his lone save in the first half. From just outside the box, Kreamalmeyer blistered a shot at the top left corner of the goal in the 28th minute, but Harrison punched it away on a great diving effort to keep the Rhinos off the board.
Timbers midfielder Tom Poltl also made a timely stop early in the first half while protecting the left post on a Rochester corner kick by turning away a header by defender Ross Smith and clearing the loose ball from danger.
But the persistence by the Rhinos paid off just before the break as Delicate put away a loose ball inside the box to break the stalemate. Defender John Ball sent a low cross in to the center of the box for Menyongar who was stripped by a pair of Timbers defenders. Portland couldn't clear away a free ball which allowed Delicate the opportunity to charge into the box and fire home his fifth goal of the season in the 41st minute.
The Timbers tried to equalize with their best shot of the first half in the 44th minute on a free kick from midfielder Leonard Griffin from 40 yards out. Griffin ball towards the box found midfielder Lawrence Olum, who skipped a header towards the near post from the top of the area, but Rhinos goalkeeper Scott Vallow was there to stop the attempt.
Fighting for points on the road, the Timbers created some offensive presence in the second half taking six of their seven shots on the night. A corner kick by midfielder Chris Brown found defender Cameron Dunn at the back post, who was able to get a piece of the ball to send a shot at the right post in the 69th minute. But Rochester’s Steve Guppy was there to keep Dunn from finding his second goal of the season and help Rochester maintain its one goal advantage.
Guante, who entered the match in the second half as a sub, provided another scoring chance for the Timbers late in the match. He was able to bring the ball into the box and crossed up his defender to allow himself enough space to fire off a shot at the top right corner of the frame. But his shot was stopped by Vallow for one of his three saves on the night.
Rochester found an insurance goal in the 87th minute on a strike from inside the box from late match sub Ryan Heins. A give and go from Heins and midfielder Tiger Fitzpatrick from 20 yards along the right side out created space for Heins to receive the ball deep in the box and he unleashed a shot inside the near post to help Rochester capture the 2-0 win.
Portland forward Takayuki Suzuki was issued his fifth caution of the season in the 65th minute and as a result will serve a one-game, league-imposed suspension on Sept. 20 in the Timbers’ regular-season finale against the Carolina RailHawks.
The Timbers conclude their two-game road trip on Monday against the Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific). A live broadcast will be available through USL Live at www.usllive.com. The Timbers return home on Sept. 11 to play host to the Charleston Battery at PGE Park.
Notes: Seven of Rochester's 13 corner kicks came in the opening half hour ... The Timbers are 2-6-5 on the road this season … Former Timbers midfielder Andrew Gregor, who was traded to Rochester for Harrison and forward Jamil Walker, did not make an appearance on Saturday against his former club.
POR: GK Harrison, D Higgins, D Knowles, D Dunn, D S. Thompson, M Griffin (Guante, 45), M Poltl, M Brown, M Olum (J. Thompson, 81), F Bagley (Suzuki, 62), F Alvarez (Walker, 71)
ROC: GK Vallow, D Earls, D Palguta, D Smith, D Ball, M Guppy (Bertz, 79), M Fitzpatrick, M Antunez, M Kreamalmeyer (Heins, 83), F Delicate (Marcina, 89), F Menyanger
ROC: Delicate (Menyongar), 41
ROC: Heins (Fitspatrick), 87