Rochester Rhinos News Release –

Sunday, September 6, 2009

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ROCHESTER, NY — The Rochester Rhinos entered the den of one of the USL First Division’s best teams, the Puerto Rico Islanders on Sunday night, but came away empty handed in their opportunity to lock up a playoff berth.

The match came just three nights after slaying the top team in the league – one that hadn’t lost in 24 straight matches – the Portland Timbers.

For most of the first half the two teams played cautiously, refusing to allow the other team a quality chance on goal. The first real good chance came for Rochester after a penalty was called on the Islanders inside their own box resulting in a Rochester penalty kick.

Thursday’s two-goal hero Errol McFarlane was tasked with the penalty kick but watched as Islander netminder Bill Gaudette made a diving save to his right to keep the match scoreless.

Following McFarlane’s penalty attempt neither team generated any scoring chances of any quality sending the game to halftime knotted at zero.

As the play in the second half began it resembled much of what occurred during the first 45 minutes. The Islanders would tally the first goal of the three-game series in 2009.

The goal seemed to catch the Rhinos off-guard as Dan Gargan’s shot from about 30 yards away beat netminder Tim Melia without much of a challenge, giving the home team a 1-0 advantage.

The goal was all the Islanders would need as they clamped down on the Rhinos keeping them from being able to even the score.

Puerto Rico did however add an insurance goal in the 88th minute as Sandy Gbandi put the Islanders up 2-0 where it would end.

With the win Puerto Rico takes the season series with a 1-0-2 mark.

Rochester will travel to Miami to face Miami FC on Tuesday, September 8. Kickoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. The Rhinos record falls to 10-9-8 with three games left in regular season play. Rochester will clinch a playoff berth for the 14th consecutive season with a win at Miami on Tuesday.