Kickers end winless drought, beat Bethlehem Steel FC


The following comes from a Richmond Kickers press release

RICHMOND, VA — The Richmond Kickers (3-10-6) snapped a 13-match winless streak as they defeated Bethlehem Steel FC (8-7-3) by a scoreline of 3-2 at City Stadium Saturday night at City Stadium. Aaron Jones gave the visitors the lead in the first half, as Samuel Asante closed out a three-goal night for the Kickers for their first victory since April 22.

The Kickers made the initial push to open the scoring in the 8th minute. Luiz Fernando controlled the ball on the left side of the field and cut inside near the endline. Fernando looked to play a pass into Sunny Jane that was making a run to the center of the Bethlehem box, as Hugh Roberts cleared it away for a corner. Raul Gonzalez sent his corner kick in towards the top of the Bethlehem box from the left side of the field and connects with Jane. He hit the ball quickly back to Gonzalez as he was coming back onside. He was able to create enough space inside the Steel FC box and played a shot to the far post, going just wide.

Richmond kept the pressure on in the 25th minute. Raul Gonzalez controlled the ball on the left side of the field once again and just before the ball reached the endline, he put a cross toward the top of the Steel FC box trying to find Oscar Umar. He was not able to control the pass and it fell to the feet of Sunny Jane. Jane placed a low shot toward Romero’s left and he dove to make the save.

Bethlehem broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. Anthony Fontana was tripped from behind by Mallan Roberts. Aaron Jones, who scored on a free kick when these two teams met back on July 1, stood over the free kick. Just to the right side of goal, Jones lined up his shot and found the near post upper corner.

Just 30 seconds into the second half it was Richmond to find the net. Playing out of the back, William Yomby controlled the ball well inside the Richmond end of the field. Yomby went with the long ball forward up the left side of the field and found Luiz Fernando near the top of the Steel FC box. Fernando just needed to chest the ball down to Oliver. He let a rocket go from 30 yards out to score his first goal for Richmond and draw the teams level.

A minute later and another goal for the Kickers. Sunny Jane won the ball in the midfield and sent the ball up the left side of the field to Luiz Fernando. He tried to square a pass across the top of the 18-yard box for Raul Gonzalez, but he slipped going for the shot. Matthew Real made a run back to collect the ball as he was being pressured by Jalen Robinson. Gonzalez came over and won the ball and quickly played a backheel pass to Robinson. He went for a cross back across goal from the right side as Romero was able to get a fingertip to it. Fernando charged in at the far post and was able to get to the ball before Aaron Jones and put it past Romero for his second goal of the season.

Bethlehem pulled level in the 69th minute. James Chambers controlled the ball in the midfield and played the ball out wide to Auston Trusty that was wide open on the left side of the field. Trusty crossed the ball in and connected with Ken Tribbett at the top of the six-yard box. Tribbett just needed to redirect the ball past Turner.

It was the Kickers night as Samuel Asante found the back of the net for his first goal of the 2017 season in the 87th minute. Asante started the play looking to play the ball over the top to Franck Tayou. Richie Marquez headed the ball back into the direction of Asante. He went for goal on the right side of the Steel FC box and found the far post netting for the goal.

Richmond is on the road for their next match, as they travel to face the Charlotte Independence next Wednesday, July 26 at the Sportsplex at Matthews for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. The Kickers return to City Stadium next Saturday, hosting Saint Louis FC for their first meeting in 2017.

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