Nil Vinyals earned a brace while Terzaghi and Bentley each added one to the scoresheet
RICHMOND, VA — (April 2, 2022) — The Richmond Kickers (1-0-0) opened their historic 30th consecutive season of operation with an assertive 4-0 victory over FC Tucson (0-1-0) in front of a post-COVID record crowd of 4,054 fans at City Stadium, Saturday night.
Reigning back-to-back USL League One MVP and Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi scored the first goal of the league season early before Nil Vinyals doubled the lead minutes before the end of the first half. Vinyals would find a second after combining with his roommate, Jonathan Bolanos, in the second half, and newcomer Matt Bentley scored his first professional goal in his professional debut to cap off the victory.
FC Tucson enjoyed an early spell of success in the opening minutes, but it was Terzaghi who broke the stalemate in the 18th minute. Stuart Ritchie carried the ball from the left wing and into the center of the pitch before laying the ball off to Matt Bolduc. The winger took a shot that was saved but not gathered by the Tucson keeper. Terzaghi was waiting in the center of the box and poked the ball into the back of the net.
In the 34th minute, Vinyals doubled the lead for the hosts. After a half clearance from Tucson, Zaca Moran cycled the ball back up the midfield to Dakota Barnathan. The newly-minted Kicker, playing against his former team, sent the ball out to the right-wing to another Kickers’ debutant, Stephen Payne. The fullback crossed the ball into the danger area to Vinyals who easily guided the ball with his left foot past the keeper.
The score would hold at 2-0 until the head official blew the whistle to end the half.
Vinyals found the Kickers’ third goal of the night in the 60th minute after another bright sequencing from the midfield. Bolduc had the ball on the right wing and picked out Bolanos as he raced up the left wing. Bolanos carried the ball to the backline, cut inside, and tucked a pass into the six-yard box as Vinyals cut towards the pass. The midfielder simply needed to guide the ball in with his left foot to secure his brace.
The final goal tally of the game would come off the right foot of debutant Matt Bentley in the 81st minute. Payne directed his throw-in to Vinyals who glanced the ball of his head to Vincenzo Candela. The midfielder received the ball on his chest and flicked it up to his head, balanced the ball on his forehead, and dropped it back off to Vinyals. The Spaniard flicked the ball to Bentley who split the Tucson backline with a piercing run. Despite the tight angle, the Englishman rifled a ball to the near post that ricocheted off the keeper and into the net.
The final whistle would blow after three minutes of stoppage, and the Kickers players would walk towards the edges of the stands to applaud the raucous City Stadium crowd.
The Kickers head to NoVa FC on Wednesday, April 6 for a matchup in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Then, the Roos are back at City Stadium, Saturday, April 9 to host Northern Colorado FC who will play their inaugural match in Richmond.
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|First Half||Second Half||Final|
Richmond Akira Fitzgerald, Jalen Crisler, Stephen Payne, Stuart Ritchie, Nathan Aune (79′ Chris Cole), Dakota Barnathan (79′ Vincenzo Candela), Zaca Moran, Nil Vinyals (84′ Leonardo Baima), Matthew Bolduc, (68′ Bentley), Emiliano Terzaghi (83′ David Olsen), Jonathan Bolanos
Unused Substitutes: Will Palmquist, Simon Fitch
Tucson Carlos Merancio, Tarn Weir, Jacob Crull, Luca Mastrantonio, Tyler Moss, Daniel Bedoya (75′ Elijah Wynder), Mueng Sunday (62′ Tevin Shaw), Louis Perez (75′ Yuki Shibata), Daniel Bloyou (62′ Burke Fahling), Giovanni Calixtro, Tyler Allen
Unused Substitutes: Nick Hanus, Jerod Allen
RIC – 18′ – Terzaghi
RIC – 34′ – Vinyals (Payne)
RIC – 60′ – Vinyals (Bolanos)
RIC – 81′ – Bentley (Vinyals)
TUC – 21′ – M. Sunday
RIC – 23′ – N. Aune
RIC – 55′ S. Payne
RIC – 58′ N. Vinyals
TUC – 62′ B. Fahling
TUC – 66′ T. Allen
RIC – 68′ – D. Barnathan
RIC – 92′ – D. Olsen
TUC – 85′ – T. Moss
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Jake Brochu, Jordan Davis
Fourth Official: Emma Richards
Weather: 67, 41 ºF