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PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: Heartbreak at City Stadium as Kickers Lose Semi-final Match

The Kickers has all the advantages going into the Semi-final but couldn’t score and fell short and lost by one goal.

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Official Game Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS: 0
CHATTANOOGA RED WOLVES SC: 1 86′ Mentzingen (Villalobos)

The #1 seeded Richmond Kickers’ season ended in the USL League One Playoff Semifinals, presented by Hisense, after falling to the #4 seeded Chattanooga Red Wolves 1-0, Saturday night.

The night began as a celebration as the Kickers were set to host their first home playoff match since the 2014 season. For a second-straight outing at City Stadium, the Kickers hosted over 5,500 fans after enjoying a capacity sellout during the regular-season finale.

Typical for a matchup between the Kickers and the Red Wolves, the match was physical throughout.

In the 8th minute, Jonathan Bolanos fired off a low-rolling shot that the Red Wolves’ keeper spilled. Emiliano Terzaghi pounced on the opportunity to get the rebound, began to dribble around the keeper and was tripped to the ground as the goalkeeper clumsily attempted to stop Terzaghi. However, the foul was not called and the Red Wolves resumed play with a goal kick.

Later in the 23rd minute, Nil Vinyals took a free kick from outside the box. The cross found its way into the box and Jalen Crisler got his head to the ball and redirected it toward the goal. The keeper was only able to deflect the attempt, and Simon Fitch was able to get the ball into the goal. However, Crisler was deemed offside by the sideline official and the goal was disallowed.

Then, in the 39th minute, a red card was shown to the Red Wolves’ David Texeira after committing a serious foul against Ethan Bryant, bringing Chattanooga’s numbers down to 10 on the pitch.

Both teams returned to the locker room at halftime tied 0-0 and both were looking for the go-ahead goal in order to move on to the final.

More opportunities came in the 74th minute when Dakota Barnathan crossed the ball over to Owayne Gordon on the right side of the pitch. Gordon then crossed the ball into the box to find a crashing Vinyals, but the Red Wolves’ keeper was able to make the save.

In the 84th minute, Zaca Moran took an enterprising shot from outside the 18-yard box but the ball went just over the crossbar.

With the Kickers pushed forward, the Red Wolves were able to capitalize on their one real chance of the night on a counterattack in the 86th minute. Chattanooga’s Rafael Metzingen raced up the field before hitting a curling effort that bent around and into the net.

Richmond pressed for an equalizer as time-wasting from the visitors allowed for nearly 10 minutes of added time, but the ball did not find the back of the net for the hosts.

The Kickers’ will now tie a bow on the season in the next week as end-of-season awards are announced. Currently, Bolanos and Terzaghi are nominated for Most Valuable Player, Akira Fitzgerald is nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year, Crisler is nominated for Defender of the Year, Bryant is nominated for Young Player of the Year, and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky is nominated for Coach of the Year.

As the Kickers prepare to defend their regular-season title in the 2023 season, fans can now place deposits for 2023 season tickets. Fans can do so at richmondkickers.com/seasontickets.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.