In a spirited US Open Cup Second Round match against a in-state foe, the Richmond Kickers once again proved its mettle with a spirited 1-0 victory over Northern Virginia FC in Leesburg, Va. to start its season with a second straight victory across all competitions.
For the Richmond Kickers, winners of the 1995 US Open Cup title, they won their opening round game for the third tournament in a row and earn the club’s 32nd victory in the competition. With a 32-19-4 (2-2 PKs) all-time record, they tie the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) for 7th in the Modern Era wins list.
NoVa FC entered the match a bit sluggish against Richmond to start after a 3-1 First Round win over Lynchburg FC that was played a week ago after being suspended due to weather conditions a week prior.
In the first half, NoVa conceded much of the possession to Richmond (61%) however Richmond’s inability to finish in the final third was helped by a strong showing from goalkeeper Calle Brown.
The Kickers — sporting green 30th anniversary kits — were able to ratchet up the pressure around the 30th minute mark, with Barcelona-born USL player of the week, Nils Vinyals, denied at close range twice by Brown.
NoVa’s defense was not able to hold off Richmond for long. In the 34th minute, the Kickers’ Matt Bentley splashed in a picture-perfect cross from the right side of the box to David Olsen, who guided the ball into the back of the net for his first goal in nearly four years. Olsen who has missed significant time over the last four years due to injury, signed with the Kickers this offseason hoping to get his professional career back on track.
Richmond kept the pressure up until halftime, with Bentley almost scoring in the 43rd minute off a cross into the box from the left, but his shot missed wide.
With a slew of attacking players substituting into the game early in the second half, NOVA FC hoped to turn the momentum. With the addition of attack-minded midfielder Akingbolabo Akinkoye and two additional strikers (Jean-Philippe Ayolmbong and Eric Calvillo), the Leesburg side looked to push Richmond on the back foot.
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The Kickers were able to hold strong and see the match out, despite a very vigorous and nearly fruitful push from NOVA in the final 10 minutes, including an attempt at goal in the 84th minute that was parried away by Richmond keeper, Akira Fitzgerald.
Richmond will find out their Third Round opponent when the draw is announced at Noon (ET) on Friday and will look to continue its undefeated start in league play with a USL League One tussle against the Northern Colorado Hailstorm at home on Saturday.