As often happens in life, things have come full circle for RNY FC.
Rochester took the pitch Saturday night at NKU Soccer Stadium in Highland Heights, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, in a quest to extend its unbeaten streak to six games.
RNY FC faced off against FC Cincinnati 2, in the same spot where the four-game winning streak (and five match unbeaten run) started way back on May 8. Rochester was minutes away from getting a point, and a chance at an extra one in penalties, when Nicholas Markanich popped up in the 90th minute to get the lone goal of the night. FC Cincinnati 2 won 1-0, to send the home fans home happy, and to give the hosts their first winning streak of the season.
It was a match that was not devoid of chances on either side, and both sides had gilt-edged opportunities in either half that were not taken, leaving it to Markanich to pick up the winner and all three points.
RNY FC was dominant for much of the first half, with keeper Caique Luiz Santos da Purificação basically a passenger for long stretches. Rochester peppered the home net, with Beckham Sunderland called into action on multiple occasions. Pedro Dolabella had two shots saved, and set up a couple more in the first 20 minutes, as did Ian Garrett from the wing.
The best chance of the contest for Rochester came in the 37th minute, as Gibran Rayo played a ball across the six onto the foot of Bubacar Boi Djaló. But his left-footed attempt went just wide of the right post, and FC Cincinnati 2 was let off the hook just before halftime.
The first 15 minutes of the second half brought more of the same from the visitors, as Sunderland made four saves before the hour mark to keep it scoreless. From that point on, though, Cincinnati grew into the contest.
Markanich was played in on a lovely ball over the top by David Garcia in the 69th minute, but Caique came off his line and stayed big, denying the forward his third goal in two games.
RNY FC was ultimately undone in the 90th minute by a moment of brilliance. Daniel Martin played a beautifully-weighted ball with the outside of his right foot from mid-pitch that cut open the defense, then Markanich took a touch, cut inside the defender, and chipped Caique for the winner.
Markanich had one more attempt in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but by then, the damage was done. It was a tough way for the winning streak to end for Rochester, but the streak was going to end at some point.
Now, the key is to get back on the pitch Saturday night, in another tough away test, and start a new streak.
Also, a quick congratulations to Paulo Soares, who came on in the 74th minute last night for Cape Verde, for his first senior appearance, in its FIFA friendly against World Cup bound Ecuador in Miami. Cape Verde fell 1-0 at the DRV PINK Stadium in its first game on American soil.
RNY FC: at New England Revolution 2, Saturday, June 18, 7 p.m. EDT (12 a.m. UK time), Gillette Stadium
FC Cincinnati 2: at Inter Miami CF II, Sunday, June 19, 8 p.m. EDT, DRV PINK Stadium