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LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE

By Admin, 07/03/11, 8:30AM EDT

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Upset Second MLS Team in Two Weeks, Face Chicago in Semifinals August 30

GAME SUMMARY

Tuesday, July 12, 2011        LIVESTRONG Sporting Park
Sporting Kansas City             0 
Richmond Kickers                  2 (Bangura 66’, Bulow 88’)

KANSAS CITY, KS – The Richmond Kickers handed Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City their first loss in LIVESTRONG Sporting Park with a 2-0 win in the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals and advance to the Semifinal round for the first time since 1995.  After a one hour, 30 minute lightning delay, Kickers forward Shaka Bangura connected on a David Bulow cross to net the first goal of the night in the 66th minute.  Bulow added a tally of his own when he converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute, becoming the U.S. Open Cup all-time leading goal scorer to boost the Kickers to a Semifinal match-up against the Chicago Fire on Tuesday, August 30.

Sporting Kansas City flexed their muscle directly out of the gates, applying pressure early and often throughout the first half.  Kickers goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale was tested in the 19th minute when midfielder Kai Kamara intercepted the ball in the midfield and fed it through to an awaiting Aurelien Collin on the right wing.  With plenty of time and space, he served a left-footed cross in the box, searching for Scott Lorenz, but Kickers defender Ryan Heins was lurking nearby and forced the ball into Pascale’s arms.

Four minutes later, Kamara charged down the left flank and played the ball to Lorenz deep on the wing.  Battling Ryan Heins to the edge of the box, he beat his mark and slot the ball through traffic, but his close call struck the near post and was cleared by Kickers defender Henry Kalungi.

The unrelenting attack continued to strain the Kickers back line in the 30th minute when defender Michael Harrington floated a well-placed left footed ball into the box from the right side.  The bouncing ball was played to the far post where Lorenz was waiting to flick it back into the mix, only to see a Milos Stojcev volley sail inches wide.

The Kickers gained momentum in the 37th minute and pressed forward for the first time in the half.  Forward Shaka Bangura collected the ball in the midfield and tried to feed it through to a streaking Nyazamba but the big Zimbabwean could not reach it in time as it glanced wide of the target.

The visitors saw their best two chances of the half thwarted two minutes later.  First, Mike Callahan lined up a free kick in the midfield, playing it wide to Sascha Görres, who served a well-placed ball into the box.  He had several options prowling at the penalty spot but Collin threw himself into the line of fire with an acrobatic clearance.  Then, Heins launched a deep throw-in to the six-yard box, that was cleared out to the top of the box, finding Hertel who’s right-footed volley whistled just wide.

It was the Kickers who struck first after the second half restart when Bangura got the better of his mark at midfield and attempted a low driven ball from distance, but Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg dove to his right to collect it in 49th minute.

The Kickers were saved by a pair of ill-directed strikes within a four minute span.  Sporting KC nearly got on the scoreboard in the 60th minute when Stojcev served an accurate ball from the right side to an onrushing Teal Bunbury but his wide open rocket soared skyward.

Four minutes later, defender Matt Besler supplied a decent ball into the box for Omar Bravo, who got the connection, but not the direction as he fired a missile over the crossbar.

With a severe thunderstorm inching closer to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, a lightning delay was enforced in the 65th minute, resuming play over an hour and a half later.

After the unexpected break, second half substitute Luke Vercollone launched a ball in behind the defense, finding Bulow on the right wing.  The Kickers midfielder delivered an cross into the box, finding Bangura 1v1 with the ‘keeper.  Getting a touch before Kronberg, Bangura’s first attempt struck the netminder and rebounded back to him, allowing him to flick it into the back of the net, shocking the fans who stuck out the lightning delay at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

Throwing everything forward, Sporting KC missed several opportunities to level the score, forcing Pascale to make multiple big saves before the Kickers sealed the victory in the 82nd minute.  Midfielder Jamel Wallace was off on a breakway in the 81th minute when Collin made a rash challenge inside the box.  Bulow stepped up to the spot and converted the resulting penalty kick, making him the sole all-time leading goal scorer in U.S. Open Cup Pro Era history and sending the Kickers to the Semifinals in Chicago.

The Richmond Kickers resume regular season play this Saturday, July 16 when they host Antigua Barracuda FC.  Returning to Richmond City Stadium, kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.  Visit RichmondKickers.com for all ticket information.

Box Score      First Half     Second Half      Final
Kansas City       0                     0                0
Richmond           0                    2                2

Scoring Summary
66th minute: Richmond: Shaka Bangura (David Bulow)
82nd minute: Richmond: David Bulow (penalty)

Lineups
Sporting KC: GK Eric Kronberg, Chance Myers, Aurelin Collin, Matt Besler, Scott Lorenz (C.J. Sapong 72’), Michael Harrington, Kei Kamara, Luke Sassano (Roger Espinoza 56’), Milos Stojcev (Omar Bravo 60’), Birahim Diop, Teal Bunbury

Kickers: GK Ronnie Pascale, Sascha Görres, Henry Kalungi, William Yomby, Dave Hertel, Ryan Heins, Gerson dos Santos (Luke Vercollone 45’), Mike Callahan (David Bulow 65’), Stanley Nyazmaba (Jamel Wallace 65’), Edson Elcock, Shaka Bangura

Shots                      Saves                     Fouls                        Corners
Kickers:          7       Kickers:           5     Kickers:          10       Kickers:          3  
Sporting KC: 22      Sporting KC:    2     Sporting KC:  10       Sporting KC:   6

Cautions:
16th minute: Henry Kalungi (Richmond)
44th minute: Aurelien Collin (Sporting KC)
73rd minute: Chance Myers (Sporting KC)
90th minute: David Bulow (Richmond)

Ejections: 
None.

Referee:    Mark Kadlecik
Assistant Referees:   George Gansner, Chris Strickland
Fourth Official:    Edvin Jurisevic
Attendance:    4,794
Weather:    Party cloudy, then severe thunderstorms 97¢

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