Kickers’ winless streak continues with 1-0 loss to New York

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The following comes from a Richmond Kickers media release

RICHMOND, Va – In front of a crowd of over 6,200 at City Stadium, the Richmond Kickers (2-6-4) fell to New York Red Bulls II (5-5-2) off a Brandon Allen goal and the Kickers being unable to break through with a goal of their own despite a number of chance throughout the match.

Richmond’s offense got to work early in the opening stages of the first half as forward Alhaji Kamara drove along the left wing toward the Red Bulls’ goal with teammates in stride before firing a shot toward New York goalkeeper Rafael Diaz during the second minute, who made a diving save to his right to direct the ball out of play, leading to a corner kick that was ultimately negated by Red Bulls defender Justin Bilyeu, keeping the Kickers scoreless early in the match.

Richmond maintained possession through much of the opening 45 minutes of the match, which allowed for another Kickers chance on the attack for the during the 22nd minute as Richmond established position in the Red Bulls’ defensive zone.

Midfielder Raul Gonzalez worked along the right wing of the pitch before stopping and dishing the ball to incoming defender Alex Lee, who was able to settle the ball and fire an aerial pass to an open Kamara, who directed a headed attempt toward the goal frame that rose up and over the crossbar.

A foul given to the Red Bulls during the 35th minute gave Richmond another chance to open the scoring thanks to a free kick taken by midfielder Yudai Imura. On a kick just outside of New York’s 18-yard box, Imura launched a powerful shot on goal that struck the top of the Red Bulls goal and deflected up and out of play.

Moments later in the 39th minute, it would be NYRBII who opened the scoring on a counterattack in the Richmond zone as midfielder Derrick Etienne, Jr. worked the ball along the left side of the Kickers’ defensive zone before easing a ground pass over to teammate Vincent Bezecourt, who sent a grounded first-time pass to forward Brandon Allen on the run, allowing him to direct the ball beyond the reach of Kickers goalkeeper Matt Turner and into the back of the net, elevating the Red Bulls to a 1-0 lead as the clock ticked down toward the end of the first half.

Even through Richmond worked the ball around the Red Bulls’ defending zone during the two minutes of stoppage time to close the first half, the Kickers were unable to level the score and entered the locker room trailing New York by a goal.

In the early minutes of the second half, Richmond tried to get on the board through a free kick just outside the Red Bulls’ 18-yard-box taken by midfielder Owusu Sekyere in the 53rd minute. His powerful kick rose toward the Red Bulls’ goal frame, forcing goalkeeper Diaz into action, tipping the ball over the crossbar and out of play, giving the Kickers a corner kick that would eventually be cleared by the Red Bulls, diminishing the offensive attack.

Four minutes later, Richmond’s attack returned to New York’s defensive zone, led by midfielder Samuel Asante, who brought the ball through the middle of the pitch before delivering a through ball to forward Kamara as he drove his way toward the Red Bulls’ goal before sending a headed shot on goal toward keeper Diaz but that shot went just over the crossbar, landing on top of the goal and keeping the Kickers off the scoreboard.

New York spent time in Richmond’s zone during closing 15 minutes of the second half, working to move the ball through the Kickers’ defense before creating a chance during the 79th minute as defender Etienne, Jr. sent an aerial ball toward the Kickers’ goal, finding forward Junior Flemmings in the box, who directed a headed shot on goal that struck the crossbar and bounced out and into the hands of Richmond goalkeeper Turner, who sent the ball down the pitch to quell the Red Bull attack.

Later in the 84th minute, the Red Bulls II would get another scoring opportunity as midfielder Arun Basuljevic moved the ball on the run to teammate Florian Valot as he moved across the pitch, delivering a ground pass back to Basuljevic, who first-timed the ball to defender Etienne, Jr. as he moved into the heart of Richmond’s penalty box before attempting a ground cross that was intercepted by the Kickers’ defense and cleared away Richmond goal mouth.

Both teams traded scoring opportunities during the four minutes of stoppage time, including a flurry of chances inside New York’s penalty box as the Kickers fought to re-direct the ball into the back of the Red Bulls goal to level the score and a New York counterattack that forced Richmond goalkeeper Turner to make a diving save inside the Kickers’ box, but Richmond was unable to find the game-tying goal and fell to New York Red Bulls II 1-0 in the final meeting between the two clubs for the 2017 USL Season.

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