The Rochester Lancers defeated the AFC Cleveland Royals 3-0 at Wegmans Sports Complex Sunday in a match with important playoff implications.

The Royals played from behind for most of the match after conceding a seventh minute goal to Lancers forward William Stone. The visiting club settled into the match after the goal and looked poised to equalize before being undone by a long-distance attempt by Lukas Fernandez to extend Rochester’s lead. The home side would add a third tally just before halftime courtesy of a breakaway opportunity for first-half substitute Austin Gerber.

The traveling Royals regrouped to keep possession on Rochester’s end of the field for much of the first half, but the Lancers absorbed pressure and were more effective in their few chances. The Lancers continued to frustrate the Royals offense in the second half by keeping their chances to a minimum, and held onto the clean sheet as stoppage time ended.

First Half Highlights

The Lancers would strike first early in the first half when Long was dispossessed in the backfield. Fernandes dribbled the ball towards goal with the 2v1 advantage and played it to his forward, Stone, who was alone in front of goal to finish.

Umeda nearly scored in the 20th after a low, driven cross from the left corner of the penalty area was deflected by a Lancers defender. The touch created an awkward situation for Lancers goalkeeper William Banahene, and the ball almost fell to Vinny Bell before scooting just beyond the right goalpost.

Yianni Sarris was locked in for shot nearly 25 yards from goal, but hit the crossbar in the 22nd minute to deny a first goal for AFC Cleveland.

McGivern made a great save in the 30th while standing on the goalline as a shot from near the penalty mark had Ivanov beat to the left, but the shot attempt was cleared by the Royals center-back.

Fernandes surprised the crowd with a long-range attempt that soared into the top right corner for the Lancers in the 40th minute. The shot was taken from over 25 yards out, and benefitted from a strong headwind that kept the ball from rising over the crossbar.

The Lancers then unlocked the AFC Cleveland defense on a counter attack, leading to the half’s third goal from substitute Austin Gerber. Rozzano played Gerber through on the left side of the pitch, opening a breakaway opportunity for Gerber, who calmly placed his shot past Ivanov.

Second Half Highlights

Play was stopped in the 71st after Umeda went down in a challenge with a Lancers forward.

Forward substitute Reymar Klochko was issued a yellow card in the 74th following a dangerous tackle in the attacking area.

Long stood in the way of a promising shot from substitute Glen Holmes and blocked the attempt by extending his right foot in the 79th.

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