RECAP: CHARLESTON 1, RICHMOND 0 Penalty Kick Decides 60th Meeting Between the Kickers and Battery
(8-2-3, 27 points, 1st East)
Portillo (Penalty) 26’
(2-7-4, 10 points, 14th East)
CHARLESTON, SC – (Saturday, June 10, 2017) – The Richmond Kickers (2-7-4) were defeated on the road to long-time rivals Charleston Battery (8-2-3) 0-1 at MUSC Health Stadium Saturday night. The 60th meeting between the two historic clubs was decided on a 26th minute penalty kick goal from Justin Portillo for the Battery.
Charleston looked to open the scoring in the 11th minute. Kotaro Higashi collected the ball inside the center circle and found a pass out wide to Maikel Chang. Chang took a few steps and then played a cross in to Romario Williams at the top of the Richmond box. He chested the ball down to Heviel Cordoves making a run and sends his shot wide.
Richmond created a chance for themselves in the 20th minute. Yudai Imura received the ball in the center of the field and found Anthony Grant making a run toward the near post. Grant controlled the ball after getting past Taylor Mueller right on the endline. He turned and pulled the ball back towards the center of the goal. Braeden Troyer rushed in to meet it as Odisnel Cooper was coming off his line. Troyer had his shot deflected wide left of the goal.
A handball called on Samuel Asante inside the Richmond box would award a penalty to the Battery in the 24th minute. Asante and Chang battled for a header inside the Kickers box. Chang got a head to it to play it down and it hits the hand of Asante as he was in the air. Justin Portillo stepped up to take the penalty and converted to Marcel DeBellis’ left. The referee called the kick back after a Battery player encroached into the box. Portillo was forced to retake the kick and converted the second chance as well to the same spot to give the home side the lead in the 26th minute.
Charleston pushed for a second goal ten minutes before the halftime break. Quinton Griffith made a run up the sideline and played in a cross to the back post looking for Cordoves. Alex Lee was able to beat Cordoves to the ball and get a head on it to clear it away from danger.
Deep into first half stoppage, the Kickers would get the best chance of the half. Patrick McCann sent a cross into the box as Griffith was able to get a head to the ball and trying to clear it away. Imura battled for the ball and played it back to an awaiting Braeden Troyer. Troyer played a driven cross into the box and found Owusu Sekyere. He was able to get a head to it as it glances wide of the goal for the final play of the first half.
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Space began to open for Richmond in the second half and Alex Lee tried to take advantage of it in the 51st minute. Samuel Asante played the ball wide right to Lee after not being able to create anything on the left side of the field. Lee started to make a run to the top of the box and launched a shot towards goal that narrowly missed the far upper corner.
Second half substitute Sunny Jane looked to make a mark on the match in the 76th minute. McCann received the ball from Gonzalez and looked up to see Jane ready to make a run. McCann played a twenty yard pass up to Jane just inside the box and he would send header just wide left of the goal.
Just five minutes later, Jane would get another chance from a good spot. Alex Lee tried to play a cross in, but he mis-hit the ball as Troyer is there on the far side to collect. Troyer sends his cross in to the far post and finds Jane at the top of the six-yard box. He controls and turns towards goal as Cooper comes up with the save on the shot.
Richmond would come close to leveling the score in the 86th minute. Raul Gonzalez sent in a corner kick towards the near post and the ball takes a deflection off Tah-Brian Anunga and bounces down and back up to the underside of the crossbar. Taylor Mueller cleared the ball off the line as Chang played the ball forward and out of danger.
Two minutes into stoppage time and Richmond would get one more chance to score. Pushing players forward, Roberts received the ball out wide after Jane won the ball. Roberts squared a pass across the face of goal as Mikey Minutillo made a far post run. Minutillo was just a step behind and narrowly missed connecting with the cross.
Charleston walks away with all three points after the first half penalty kick goal and now has a three-game advantage in the series after 60 meetings.
The Kickers come back to City Stadium next Saturday, June 17 as they host the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the BBQ and Bluegrass Fest. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with live bluegrass music from the Cary Street Ramblers, over 15 craft beers on tap. Then the Kickers take on the Rowdies at 7 p.m. Tickets and more information can be found at RichmondKickers.com.