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Rhinos play to another scoreless draw, 0-0 in Montreal
MONTREAL, QUEBEC - The Rochester Rhinos and the Montreal Impact Reserves played to a scoreless draw in Saputo Stadium on Sunday, July 21st 2013.
Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht kept his second consecutive clean sheet of the weekend after Rochester also shutout the Wilmington Hammerheads in a scoreless draw in Sahlen's Stadium on Friday, June 19th 2013. Both Montreal and Rochester were left to play a man down after the Rhinos J.C. Banks and the Impact's Collen Warner were sent off following an altercation in the 54th minute.
The Rhinos had the first chance of the match in the tenth minute. Montreal native Rudolph Mayard, a new signee with the Rhinos who made his Rochester debut on Friday night in a scoreless draw with Wilmington, received the ball on the right flank 35 yard from goal and cut into the middle of the pitch. Mayard dribbled to the top of the box before he took a shot that sailed just over the crossbar.
The Impact's Blake Smith created the next two chances in the match for the home side. In the 12th minute Smith received a through ball in behind the Rhinos back four. He dribbled into the Rhinos box, but Rochester center back Troy Roberts came across to poke the ball away just before goalkeeper Kristian Nicht came off his goal line to clear the ball to safety. Six minutes later Smith got free again with a left footed shot from just outside the box, but it hit the crossbar and bounced clear.
Rochester created the last chance of the first half in the 41st minute. Rhinos right back Bilal Duckett played a through ball to striker Matt Horth down the right flank. Horth took two touches before he dropped the ball to Mayard running in late at the top of the box. Mayard blistered a shot that Montreal keeper Evan Bush parried onto the crossbar to keep the score level at nil.
Both sides were left to play a man down after an altercation in the 54th minute. Montreal Impact midfielder Collen Warner grabbed Rochester Rhinos center midfielder Lance Rozeboom by the arm to impede his progress as he dribbled by him near midfield. The referee blew his whistle to indicate that there was a foul just before pushing and shoving broke out between Warner and Rozeboom. Rhinos winger JC Banks was the first player to arrive, and he shoved Warner causing him to fall to the turf. After consulting with his assistant referee, the head referee decided to show a red card to Banks and Warner.
After both players were sent off the Impact and Rhinos struggled to create chances. In the 57th minute Montreal's Smith struck another left footed chance that just went over Nicht's crossbar. In the 78th minute the Rhinos had the best chance of the match. Rochester left back Danny Earls struck a free kick on goal from 30 yards out on the right flank. Bush spilled Earls' left footed shot and the ball was free in the six yard box. Rhinos super sub Andrew Hoxie went to apply the finishing touch at the near post, but Bush was able to get back to his feet and make a diving save to keep the Rhinos out.
Nicht had to make one more save to keep his seventh clean sheet of the season in the 85th minute. Montreal midfielder Dennis Iapichino stuck a blistering shot on the Rhinos goal from 25 yards out. Nicht made a full extension dive to his right and tipped the shot over the cross bar.
The draw is the Rhinos tenth of the season - one shy of the club record of 11 set by the 2006 Rhinos. The point leaves the Rhinos with 19 points from 21 matches. At the end of the weekend Rochester is eight points behind eighth place VSI Tampa Bay for the final playoff spot in the USL PRO table with five matches left to play.