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Rochester Rhinos Drop AC St. Louis 2-1

AC St. Louis’ road woes continued as they were defeated by Rochester 2-1 Saturday evening.  Rochester opened the scoring late in the first half, but AC St. Louis answered back early after intermission on a long free kick before surrendering a Ryan Heins goal with about 15 minutes left in the game.

I had a lot of difficulty with the live stream most of the first half of the game, with continuous buffering, but it seemed like Rochester kept the ball in AC St. Louis territory early as AC St. Louis was playing against the wind. I’ve never seen so many goalkicks and free kicks roll away after being set up to be kicked as I did  tonight.  Anthony O’Garro did get a cross in around the 20th minute that the goalkeeper had to handle, and AC St. Louis looked better and got more possession as the half continued, including a shot by O’Garro around the 38th minute and another shot on goal by an unidentified AC St. Louis player a couple of minutes later.  The Rhinos, however, grabbed the lead after a high clearing kick by AC St. Louis got caught in the wind, and a  Rochester player made a great flick onto Anthony Hamilton who slotted the ball past Alec Dufty in the 43rd minute, and the half ended with Rochester up 1-0.

AC St. Louis had the wind at their backs in the second half, and they took advantage early on from a long free kick by Dillon Barna.  The kick, from the left side of the field, took a high bounce and went by the Rochester goalkeeper.  Originally, the goal was credited to Mike Ambersley, who was near the goalkeeper and looked like he may have deflected the ball, but later the goal was awarded to Barna.   The game went back and forth for 20 plus minutes as Rochester had a nice cross in the 55th go to waste and another in the 69th minute that went across the box that no one could put a boot on.  Anthony O’Garro made a good defensive break up before being substituted, and AC St. Louis had some good runs of possession.  At about the 77th minute, though, AC St. Louis was unable to clear the ball from their own back-end and Anthony Hamilton assisted to Rochester substitute Ryan Heins, who netted home the game winner.  AC St. Louis lost some composure as the game wound down, kicking the ball forward hoping someone could connect, although an unidentified AC St. Louis player had a shot on goal that went wide in stoppage time. 

The wet surface and especially the wind were big factors in the game, causing many passes to go untouched and goalkicks against the wind to fly 10 to 15 yards shorter than normal.  Still, the weather was the same for both teams, and Rochester coped better, although AC St. Louis played well enough to keep the game close.  In fact, I thought the game would end a draw, but the finishing for AC St. Louis is still lackluster, and connecting passes in the opposition’s third of the field are too infrequent, as are opportunities for a clear shot on goal.  Gauchinho was a factor in his first game for the team, controlling possession and threading some nice passes, and Tim Velten was very strong on defense, as overall the defense was decent, despite giving up two goals, both of which were well-played efforts by Rochester.   As always, Coach Anelka’s players hustled after every ball throughout the game.

Second half substitutes for AC St. Louis included Ryan Moore, Jeff Cosgriff, Chris Salvaggione and Brad Stisser.  Manuel Kante, Zach Bauer, Christian Nzinga, Elvir Kafedzic and Jack Traynor did not suit up due to injury.  The decision to not play Steve Ralston was made earlier because of Rochester’s turf surface.  I apologize for not being able to identify some of the players taking shots during the game…..the video stream improved late in the first half but I didn’t have any audio available except for the PA from the stadium.

Next Saturday AC St. Louis travels to league leading Portland to take on the Timbers for the second time in a month, before returning home May 22 for a contest against FC Tampa Bay.

Starting Lineup:  Dufty, Bloom, Barna, O’Garro, Velten. Cole, Gauchinho,Kreamalmeyer, Ambersley, Chirishian, Titton


3 Responses

  1. Very good article, just believe you give much credit to O’Garro when as a former defender myself, he can’t play defense. The AC player #10 covered for him numerous times as well as #26 and #4. Rhinos CONTROLLED the ball, AC played defense most of the game.

  2. we need to make a big effort to sell out the tampa game!!! My goal is to bring 15 friends. Please make a post or something to the effect. I’m tired of Tampa fans acting like their the best thing since sliced bread because they’re a new franchise that draws well.

    Lets give em hell!

  3. I agree that O’Garro’s defense needs improvement, but he does provide an offensive threat, with a goal scored and another shot that hit the woodwork in another game. I hope there is a sellout for FC Tampa Bay, they are doing the best of the four “new” teams and we need to derail them.

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