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Rhinos Host Bethlehem Steel FC on Tuesday, Can Inch Closer to Top-4

By Rochester Rhinos, 10/09/17, 2:45PM EDT

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Two wins in their final two matches clinches home playoff match.

The 5th-place Rhinos (12-7-11; 47 points) are home for their final two matches before they enter the postseason.  Rochester hosts Bethlehem Steel FC on Tuesday, October 10th at Capelli Sport Stadium as they attempt to jump into the top-4 in the USL Eastern Conference – which would secure a home playoff match. Kickoff is set for 7:05 PM.

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The Rhinos clinched a playoff spot for the 21st time in 22 seasons with a 2-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night.  Jochen Graf scored his 8th goal of the season just 22 seconds into the match, volleying home a beautiful cross from Christiano Francois, who now leads the team with 5 assists in just 11 appearances this season.  Wal Fall finished the scoring, putting home a rocket into the top right corner from 12 yards for his team-leading 9th goal of the 2017 campaign.

In terms of hosting a playoff match, the Rhinos currently control their own destiny. For the moment, Rochester sits in 5th place with 47 points, with a match in hand on everybody in the Eastern Conference. The Rhinos sit one point behind the Charlotte Independence, who have lost four straight. The Tampa Bay Rowdies are three points ahead on 50 points, while the Charleston Battery are in 2nd place with 51 points.  Charleston and Charlotte face one another in their final match of the season, while the Rowdies face a desperate 9th-placed Orlando City B.  Rochester will take on New York Red Bulls II in the final match of the season.

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This is a rematch of the opening match of the season that the Rhinos won 3-2 in Bethlehem. Rochester took a 2-0 lead in the first half, before Bethlehem leveled the match after being awarded and converting 2 penalty kicks. Jochen Graf would come off the bench to score an 88th-minute winner in his USL debut.     

The Rhinos just broke their five-match winless streak; the longest such streak in 2017.

Bethlehem Steel are currently seeking their first playoff berth in their second season of existence. They have been red-hot to finish the season, currently sitting in 7th place on 43 points in the midst of a six-match unbeaten streak. They would clinch with a win in either of their final two matches, an FC Cincinnati loss, or an Orlando City B loss/draw.

The Steel have never defeated the Rhinos, drawing twice last season before this season's loss.

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TEAM RECORDS

Rochester overall record:  12-7-11, 47 points

Rochester home record:  7-2-5

Streak: W1

Bethlehem overall record:  12-11-7, 43 points

Bethlehem away record:  6-6-3

Streak: W1 (unbeaten in 6: 2-0-4)

 

RECENT HEAD TO HEAD

April 1st, 2017 – Goodman Stadium

Bethlehem Steel 2 Rochester Rhinos 3

SCORING SUMMARY
ROC – Darius Madison 9’ (Mike Garzi)
ROC – Wal Fall 34’ (PEN)
BST – Charlie Davies 45 + 3’ (PEN)
BST – Seku Conneh 72’ (PEN)
ROC – Jochen Graf 88’ (Jalen Brown)

July 24th, 2016 – Goodman Stadium

Bethlehem Steel 1 Rochester Rhinos 1

SCORING SUMMARY
BST – Derrick Jones 19’
ROC – Kenardo Forbes 57’ (Mike Garzi)

May 28th, 2016 – Rochester Rhinos Stadium

Rochester Rhinos 2 Bethlehem Steel 2

SCORING SUMMARY
ROC – Joe Farrell 13’ (Jordan Becker)
BST – Ryan Richter 24’
BST – Michael Daly 58’ (James Chambers)
ROC – Joe Farrell 90 + 4’

 

SEASON LEADERS

BETHLEHEM

Goals:  Seku Conneh (10)

Assists:  Adam Najem (8)

Points:  Seku Conneh (22)

Shots:  Cory Burke (54)

Chances:  Santi Moar (33)

Saves:  Jake McGuire (73)

Save %: Jake McGuire (75.3%)

GAA:  Jake McGuire (1.20)

ROCHESTER

Goals:  Wal Fall (9)

Assists:  Christiano Francois (5)

Points:  Wal Fall (20)

Shots:  Kenardo Forbes (45)

Chances:  Kenardo Forbes (45)

Saves:  Tomas Gomez (39)

Save %:  Tomas Gomez (70.9%)

GAA:  Tomas Gomez (0.76)
 

LAST TIME OUT

BETHLEHEM

Toronto FC II 2 Bethlehem Steel 4

SCORING SUMMARY

BST – Santi Moar 19’
BST – Santi Moar 22’ (Adam Najem)
BST – Derrick Jones 53’ (Adam Najem)
TOR – Shaan Hundal 61’
BST – Seku Conneh 81’ (Santi Moar)
TOR – Shaan Hundal 88’ (Ryan Telfer)

LINEUP

Jake McGuire; Aaron Jones, Charlie Reymann, Joshua Yaro, Auston Trusty; Derrick Jones, Chris Nanco (Yosef Samuel 77’), James Chambers © (Hugh Roberts 67’), Adam Najem, Santi Moar; Seku Conneh (Brendan Aaronson 88’)

ROCHESTER

Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0 Rochester Rhinos 2

SCORING SUMMARY

ROC – Jochen Graf 1’ (Christiano Francois)
ROC – Wal Fall 14’

LINEUP

Dan Lynd; Jordan Dover, Bradley Kamdem Fewo (Ray Lee 28’), Ryan Felix, Joe Farrell, Todd Pratzner; Christiano Francois (Julian Buescher 66’), Wal Fall (Sofiane Tergou 74’), Ryan James, Kenardo Forbes ©, Jochen Graf