The Richmond Kickers celebrate a goal against Aromas Cafe in the Second Round of the 2016 US Open Cup. Photo: James Loving
Aromas Café went to Richmond hoping to come out giant killers, but their hopes were squashed almost immediately and never revived.
After a goal in the first minute, the Richmond Kickers never looked back as they cruised to a 4-0 win in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The 1995 US Open Cup champions, playing in their 10th straight Open Cup game at home, emerge with a seven-game winning streak in opening round games.
The Kickers took an early lead when they were awarded a free kick at the top of the Aromas box in the first minute. Sunny Jane steered his powerfully dipping shot over the wall and into the near corner at hip level for the one goal lead.
Richmond continued to press, winning a series of corners and free kicks in the Aromas end. In the 25th minute, after winning one of those free kicks at a distance of forty yards, the Kickers directed the ball onto the head of Yomby William who found himself unmarked on the left side of the goal box. Directing his shot down and into the near corner, a good strategy in most instances, he managed to drive it into the keeper’s calf. The ball dribbled into the path of a charging Hugh Roberts who slotted it home for the 2-0 lead, which held until the half.
Richmond came out almost as strong in the second half as the first, but had to wait until the 48th minute of the new term to find the net on an Anthony Grant strike of a feed from Travis Pittman. Grant forced a diving save off Aromas keeper Hohoff in the 57th off a volley, and Jackson Eskay pinged a shot off the crossbar in the 4th.
“I’m elated with that goal and as coach said earlier we need some goals in this game,” said Grant about his first tally for the Kickers. “I’m really elated with my performance, with my goal, and most of all with the team performance.”
The Kickers put the game to bed in the 83rd minute when Romulo Peretta deflected a cross for Luiz Fernando to clean up for the four-goal victory while preserving the clean sheet.
The Kickers move on to meet the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL in the Third Round.