Richmond Kickers 0, Forward Madison FC 1
(2-2-1, 7 points)
|FORWARD MADISON FC|
(1-1-3, 6 points)
|1||67′ Own Goal (Crisler)|
RICHMOND, Va. — The Richmond Kickers’ (2-2-1, 7 pts) unbeaten streak at City Stadium ended at 16 games after rivals Forward Madison FC (1-1-3, 6 pts) earned a 1-0 victory against the run of play on a wet and physical night.
The match, like every Henny Derby since the rivalry began in 2019, started physical and persisted throughout the night. The Kickers enjoyed the lion’s share of possession while pressuring Madison’s defensive third. The visitors racked up three yellow cards in the opening 19 minutes trying to slow down Richmond.
Emiliano Terzaghi delivered the best chance of the first half at the 28-minute mark. On the break, Terzaghi played a one-two to Nil Vinyals before the Spaniard released Terzaghi with a through ball. One-on-one with the keeper, Terzaghi laced a right-footed shot across his body as the ball skipped over the wet grass towards the inside of the left post. Madison’s keeper made a diving save to deflect the ball off target and deny the league’s reigning MVP.
While the first 45 minutes ended knotted up at 0-0, the Kickers dominated 61 percent of the possession while taking seven shots to Madison’s two.
As the dreary mist turned to blustery rain, the match became increasingly chippier as the conditions worsened. The Kickers continued to own possession and push towards a go-ahead goal and would finish the match with 18 shots on goal to Madison’s six along with 14 corners to Madison’s one.
However, in the 67th minute, the visitors found an unlikely breakthrough goal. Rojay Smith dribbled the ball precariously down the left sideline before crossing the ball to second-half substitute, Justin Sukow. Sukow cut the ball back to his left foot and hit the ball into the center of the box as Jalen Crisler adjusted to defend the play. The defender turned to open his stance and deflect the ball out of the danger zone, but the ball had enough pace and deflected on target and into the net.
The Kickers pressed for an equalizer and nearly found it in the dying embers of the match. In the seventh minute of stoppage time, Vinyals played a cross into the danger area to the waiting head of Terzaghi who flicked the ball towards the back post. The ball ricocheted off the wrong side of the post and away from the goal, but stayed in play as Dakota Barnathan cycled it back into the box to Stuart Ritchie. The defender, who put in a Keiter Man of the Match performance, chipped the ball further into the box to Nathan Aune who rose above his marker and headed the ball on target. Cruelly, the Madison keeper made a punching save off the goal line to deny the Kickers their last opportunity for a point.
Despite the result, the match still provided the opportunity for celebration as Richmond commemorated 30 seasons of Kickers’ soccer during the pregame and halftime periods almost to the day that the original Kickers kicked off their inaugural game on May 8, 1993. Members of the ’93 team held a meet and greet and autograph session with fans before being honored on the field. The group included defender Liam Behrens, midfielder Matt Borgard, forward Leigh Cowlishaw, defender Scott Davis, goalkeeper Joe O’Carroll, defender Duncan Satchell, and forward Rob Ukrop.
The Kickers remain at home to host Charlotte FC of Major League Soccer in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday, May 11. It is the first time the Kickers will host an MLS opponent at City Stadium since the 2015 season. Tickets for the match are on sale at richmondkickers.com/tickets.