ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Red Bulls II saw a victory and three road points slip through their grasp as the Rochester Rhinos scored and secured a 2-2 draw at the final whistle of their United Soccer League encounter at Capelli Sports Stadium Saturday night.
Joe Farrell scoring the tying goal right at the last whistle, four minutes into stoppage time.
In a battle of the past two USL champions, the Rhinos (2015 titlists) opened the scoring at the end of the first half, as Mike Garzi opened his account for the season after Farrell pumped a ball into the top of the box which Darius Madison chested down. Garzi took it on the half volley and smashed it perfectly into the bottom corner to give the Rhinos the lead after 45th minute.
Red Bulls II (2016 champs) came back in the second half as Justin Bilyeu sent in a cross to Brandon Allen, who held off two defenders and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to level the score in the 50th minute.
Fifteen minutes later, a defensive error cost the Rhinos a goal. Ryan Felix and Tomas Gomez were involved in a collision on a cross. The ball spilled out to Vincent Bezecourt, who slid the ball home and gave the Red Bulls a 2-1 advantage.
It looked like New York was going to walk away winners, but Farrell won a foul at the top of the center circle. The Rhinos put all the players in the box as Kenardo Forbes launched the free kick into the box. Farrell reached the ball with his head just before the goalkeeper, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Rochester head coach Bob Lilley, however, was not pleased about the draw.
“This was the third poor performance in a row,” he said. “Our defending is really poor right now. There were glaring mistakes on the goals, but teams are playing through us. I just don’t think the energy is there to defend. We’re getting pushed around. For me, defending is a team mindset and we’ve got to get better. We’re too easy to play against. There are talented players [in the USL], teams are going to walk right through us.”