New England Revolution loan player Bilal Duckett set the stage for a battle of affiliates as the Rochester Rhinos (USL-PRO) claimed a 1-0 victory over GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) during Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup second round tie at Sahlen’s Stadium.
Duckett’s 65th minute strike was all that the Rhinos needed to set up a May 28th showdown against its MLS affiliate, the Revolution, at Sahlen’s Stadium.
Goalkeeper Kristian Nicht recorded a trio of saves to pick up the clean sheet, while Matt Horth – also on loan from the Revolution – got the start up top alongside Thomas MacManus.
The second half was delayed by 30 minutes after thunderstorms rolled through the Rochester area Tuesday evening.
Duckett nearly orchestrated an early goal when he whipped a cross through to ex-Revolution forward Blake Brettschneider, whose header was narrowly saved by Portland’s Adam Perron in the 18th minute.
Portland nearly pulled the rug under the Rhinos minutes later when Jonathan Lupinelli set up Pierre Omanga. But Omanga’s header went wide of frame.
Although the match remained scoreless through the first half, Rochester’s propensity to push forward appeared to flummox the Phoenix, who committed 10 fouls prior to the interval.
After knocking on the door for much of the match, the Rhinos’ efforts were rewarded just after the hour when Danny Earls sent a cross to Duckett, who sent it through to put the hosts ahead.
Down a goal late, Portland appealed for a penalty when Caue Da Silva was taken down inside the area. But their cries fell on deaf ears as the game opened up with full time approaching.