Northern Colorado 0, Richmond Kickers 1
|RICHMOND KICKERS||1||32′ Terzaghi|
|NORTHERN COLORADO HAILSTORM FC||0|
SEVERANCE, Colo. – The Richmond Kickers (9-6-4, 31 pts) earned a hard-fought 1-0 win on the road against Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (5-7-7, 22 pts) Tuesday night in Severance, Colo. The win moves the Kickers within just one point of the top of the USL League One table.
Akira Fitzgerald – who picked up his fifth clean sheet of the season – was called on early amidst the rain, and responded with a brilliant save in the 7th minute. The league leader in saves dove to his left, fully extending to deny the Hailstorm an opener with his fingertips.
Just one minute later, the Kickers responded with a dangerous moment of their own. Facing his former club for the first time, Ethan Vanacore-Decker played in a near-perfect outside of the boot ball that just missed the outstretched foot of the sliding Emiliano Terzaghi.
Terzaghi found himself on the end of another brilliant spell of individual play in the 29th minute. After combining and dribbling his way up the field, Ethan Bryant laid off a pass for Terzaghi whose attempt just slipped past the far post.
As the sun finally broke through, so too did the Kickers. Terzaghi fired a first-time strike from more than 40 yards out, catching the Hailstorm keeper off his line to give the Kickers a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute.
The sure-to-be goal of the week candidate moved Terzaghi into second place alone in the golden boot race — just two shy of the league lead.
The Kickers nearly had a second in the 55th minute as Stuart Ritchie raced onto a ball down the left-hand side. His cross was just narrowly cleared away from an onrushing Matthew Bentley.
Protecting the one-goal advantage, Richmond kept the sheet clean thanks to a few moments of goal-line defensive brilliance.
Fitzgerald slid to his left to deny a hard, right-footed strike from Trevor Amann in the 48th minute. Again in the 68th, the Richmond keeper dove to his left to deny Amann from nearly point blank range.
In the 72nd minute, Jalen Crisler stepped in to stab away a dangerous low cross, and Fitzgerald stood tall five minutes later, denying another attempt from outside the box.
The Kickers nearly put the match away in the 81st as Stephen Payne’s cross was almost deflected into the goal by the Hailstorm’s Destan Norman. On the ensuing corner from Nil Vinyals, Terzaghi had his back-heel attempt denied at the near post.
With less than 10 minutes to play, the Kickers’ defense rose to the occasion again. The ball nearly leaked into the goal after chaos in the box, but last week’s hero Dakota Barnathan stepped up to clear it off the line.
The Roos then return home to host FC Tucson on Saturday, Aug. 6 when the club celebrates Family Night. A special ticket package is available for the match with families or groups of friends able to purchase four tickets that comes with four non-alcoholic drink vouchers for only $52 or $13 per ticket. Tickets are available at richmondkickers.com/tickets.
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