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Rhinos Squeak By Western MA in US Open Cup

Houapeu and Obasi each score in 2nd OT to lift Rhinos to 3rd round
The Rochester Rhinos advanced to the Third Round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2:1 victory over Western Mass Pioneers in extra time on Wednesday, May 14th 2014 in Sahlen's Stadium. Rhinos midfielder Onua Thomas Obasi scored the game winning goal in the second half of extra time.

The Rhinos were 16-1-1 in their entry round of the U.S. Open Cup entering the match, and 14-0-1 against opposition from a lower division. Five of those 18 matches had gone to overtime, where the Rhinos had a 4-0-1 record.

The Rochester Rhinos scored the opening goal of the match in the 111th minute. Substitute Alex Dixon served an early ball into the box from 35 yards out on the right flank. Substitute JC Banks got on the end of Dixon's service at the far post, and put a header on target. Pioneers goalkeeper Warren Gross dove to his right to make a save at full extension. The rebound fell to the feet of Rhinos midfielder Onua Thomas Obasi, but Western Mass was able to scramble the ball away at the top of the six yard box. The Pioneers clearance found the feet of Rochester striker Levi Houapeu in the middle of the empty goal mouth, and he poked the ball in to give Rochester a lead.

Obasi struck the game winning goal in the 114th minute. Obasi won the ball on the left flank about 30 yards out from the Western Mass goal. Obasi drove in the box and finished with his left foot under Gross and into the lower right hand corner to double the advantage for the home side.

Western Mass cut the Rhinos lead to one in the 118th minute. Pioneers substitute Kyle Tomos took the ball to the endline on the left side of the Rhinos box. Tomos got his head up and played a diagonal ball back toward the penalty spot. The pass found Western Mass midfielder William Daniels 15 yards out, and Daniels blasted the ball into the Rochester goal.

The Rhinos closed out the last two minutes of the match and one minute of stoppage time to advance to the Third Round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The Rochester Rhinos will host Reading United AC (USL PDL) in the Third Round of the 101st Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 27th at 7:35PM in Sahlen's Stadium.
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