(Charleston, SC)… The Rochester Rhinos took their 2-0 lead to Charleston for the second leg of the USL First Division Quarterfinals against the Battery on Sunday. In a match that saw Rochester struggle to muster any kind of continuity offensively, Charleston held most of the pressure during the first half of play and maintained heavy pressure.
That pressure nearly resulted in a goal in the ninth minute by Charleston’s Randi Patterson but Rochester goalkeeper Scott Vallow got the best of it with a save, keeping the home side off the board. It didn’t take long however for the Battery to return the favor as they were the first to get on the board only 12 minutes into the match. Vallow also had to be sharp in denying It was Osvaldo Alonso who finished off a scoring opportunity from John Wilson to beat Vallow for an early 1-0 lead which they would maintain heading into the half.
With the match approaching the later stages of the second half the Battery began to apply additional pressure forcing the Rhinos to. With time winding down defender Ross Smith spun around and nearly added to the Rhino advantage but Charleston ‘keeper Dusty Hudock scooped up a loose ball. The Battery nearly got the equalizer with two minutes remaining in regulation when a scoring opportunity trickled along the goal mouth but never found its way into the net.
Vallow also made stops on Patterson and Laso Alavanja during stoppage time to preserve the aggregate lead. Charleston would wind up winning the match 1-0 but Rochester will advance 2-1 on aggregate.
In other USL-1 playoff series’ the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated Minnesota 5-4 on aggregate while the Montreal Impact ended the Seattle Sounders season 4-3 on aggregate after a 3-1 win at Saputo Stadium on Sunday.
Rochester will take on the top seed in the USL First Division, the Puerto Rico Islanders next week. Dates and times for matches to be determined.