Central Valley Fuego FC 3, Richmond Kickers 1
|RICHMOND KICKERS||1||45′ Barnathan|
|CENTRAL VALLEY FUEGO FC||3||16′ Falck, 35′ Falck (Diaz), 58′ Cerritos (Falck)|
FRESNO, Calif. — The Richmond Kickers (7-6-4, 25 pts) fell 3-1 on the road in their first-ever matchup against Central Valley Fuego FC (6-5-5, 23 pts) after the Roos were forced to finish the match with only nine men.
Central Valley opened the score in the 16th minute with a set piece that was taken by former Kicker Victor Falck. Falck took a free kick from just outside the box, hitting the underside of the crossbar and into the goal to put Fuego on the scoreboard first.
In the 19th minute, Stephen Payne received his second yellow of the night and was sent off, leaving the Kickers with only 10 men on the field.
The Kickers were presented with an opportunity to try and tie up the score in the 30th minute with a set piece that was taken by Matthew Bentley that went just over the crossbar.
In the 35th minute, Falck found the back of the net once more with his head for his second goal of the night.
Despite the deficit, the Kickers were not giving up as Stuart Ritchie laid the ball off to Ethan Bryant shortly after for a shot on goal from just outside of the box.
Before the break, the Roos’ patience and efforts were rewarded off of a corner kick that was taken by Bryant. The midfielder was able to find Barnathan’s head in the box who deflected the ball onto Nil Vinyals. The Spaniard put the ball up in perfect space within the box for Barnathan to take the low shot, burying the ball into the net and putting the Kickers on the board just before halftime. It marked Barnathan’s first goal with the Kickers.
Three minutes into the second half, the Kickers were forced to finish the match with nine players on the pitch after Nathan Aune was sent off with a harsh red card after a sliding challenge.
In the 58th minute, Fuego found their third goal of the night after Alexis Cerritos found open space in the box with the two-man advantage.
In the 61st minute, Akira Fitzgerald came off his line and closed down the angle, preventing Cerritos from scoring a second goal.
Then in the 67th minute, Cerritos attempted to score off a bicycle kick into the lower right corner of the net, however, Fitzgerald read the ball and was able to make that save, then Simon Fitch was able to deny the rebound.
The Kickers nearly got one back in the 72nd minute when Vincenzo Candela ripped a laser from outside of the box, but the attempt flew just over the wrong side of the crossbar.
The Roos will look to bounce back on a short week as they travel to Cary, N.C. to face North Carolina FC on Wednesday, July 27 at 7 p.m. for the second road match of a three-match away stand. The Roos will then head back out west to face Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
The Kickers return home to face FC Tucson on Saturday, Aug. 6 during Faith and Family Night. Kickoff at the match is set for 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the match are available at richmondkickers.com/tickets.
Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.