The Rhinos needed only one goal to defeat the PDL Long Island Rough Riders, and advance to the Second Round of the US Open Cup. For Long Island, it was their first appearance in the tournament since they moved down to the PDL from the Second Division.
Matthew Delicâte’s goal came in the 20th minute, heading in a cross from Stephen Shirley-Black.
The Rough Riders had two good opportunities to tie the game in the first half. A corner kick sent into the penalty area was headed on goal where Rhinos goalkeeper Chase Harrison was nowhere to be found, but midfielder Danny Kramer was there to save the day, at least momentarily. Just seconds later, Harrison made a point blank save from the left side of the 18 yard box which was one of his many great saves in the game. In the 40th minute, Harrison shined yet again. Rough Rider forward Mike Palacio launched a strong left foot from about 25 yards out but Harrison dove to his left to punch it away. One minute later, Palacio had another opportunity from 20 yards out, but Harrison was there again to keep it a 1-0 game.
While Matthew ’s goal in the 20th minute was enough for Rochester, it was Long Island goalkeeper Tim Melia vs. Johnny Menyongar in the second half. In the 64th minute, Melia stopped a 20 yard attempt from Menyongar off a touch pass from Delicâte. Three minutes later, the Rough Riders ’keeper dove to his left to stop a one-timer shot from the Liberian striker, leaving Menyongar in disbelief. Menyongar struck again three times in three minutes. In the 83rd, Melia got in the way of a 20-yeard shot, in the 84th, Menyongar’s shot went wide, and in the 85th, Menyongar thought he finally beat his nemesis. Before he could celebrate, however, the linesman raised his flag to signal offside.
The loss extends Long Island’s Open Cup losing streak to four games, including games from their first tournament appearance in 1997 as a member of the A-League (losing 1-0 in extra time to the Metrostars), and as a Second Division team in the 2003 and 2005 competitions when they lost to the Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL) and the Ocean City Barons (PDL).
Rochester returns to PAETEC Park on June 26 to host the Western Mass Pioneers in the Second Round.
(ROCH) Matthew Delicate (Shirley-Black) 20′