- Monday, 16 April 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
The Los Angeles Blues of Ebrima “EJ” Jatta dropped a 1-0 decision to the visiting Rochester Rhinos in their USL PRO home opener in front of a raucous crowd of over 2,400 Saturday night.
The Rhinos picked up all three points at Fullerton’s Titan Stadium behind a disciplined defensive performance and a 22nd-minute tally from former Colorado Rapids and Scottish Premier League striker Tom McManus.
The Blues controlled the majority of the possession in the first half of the opening period and had some promising attacking combinations, but only to concede against the run of play. Jimmy Banks sent a nice in-swinger into the area from the right and ex-Colorado Rapids star McManus topped his intelligent run off with a determined header from close range that left goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh without a chance.
Blues striker Cheun-Yong Park had a golden chance to tie things up shortly after, heading just wide on a pinpoint accurate cross from the right by Brian Farber. The Blues’ next dangerous look came after the break, as Farber’s glancing header on a 65th minute Irving Garcia corner kick from the left was blocked on the line by well-positioned Rhinos netminder Kristian Nicht.
Another corner from the left by Garcia saw the hosts come close again five minutes later. Under pressure from the 24-year-old’s namesake Erlys Garcia, a Rhinos defender headed the ball on with his back to the goal and was fortunate to see it whiz just over his own crossbar.
The visitors from Rochester could have doubled their advantage in the 75th minute. On an attempted shot from the right, Tyler Rosenlund redirected it on frame from five yards out, forcing Blues netminder Amir Abedzadeh to keep it out of the net with a stunning kick save. Despite attacking furiously in the closing stages of the match, Jatta’s Blues were unable to find an equalizer, as the Rhinos held on for a big road win to open the season.
Meanwhile, in their 20th home opener, the Richmond Kickers defeated Amadou “Baresi” Sanyang’s Charleston Battery by a score of two goals to one Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium with an attendance of 4,729.
Sascha Göerres was credited with the game winner in the 90th minute when his long-range strike deflected past Battery goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.
“I think overall we played well, we probably deserved three points and we should have at least gotten a point out of that game,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “I give Richmond credit; they took advantage of a bad bounce and got the three points.”
Sanyang’s Battery opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Ryan Richter picked out Nicholas Stephen Paterson with a square pass at the top of the box. Paterson blasted a one-time shot past Richmond goalkeeper, Ronnie Pascale into the far left corner of the net.
In the 65th minute, Zimbabwe’s Stanley Nyazamba evened the score when the Richmond Kickers were awarded a penalty kick for a take down in the box. The deciding goal came in the 90th minute after Sascha Göerres struck from long –range. The ball took a heavy deflection on the way through and found the back of the net.