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PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: Kickers Fail to Hold Lead Settle for Tie

The Kickers lead the game twice yet only get the draw in a steamy 2-2 draw.

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Official Richmond Kickers Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS 2  8′ Sierakowski, 61′ Terzaghi (Fitch)
CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE 2  11′ Johnson (Ibarra), 85′ Mbuyu (Djédjé)

The Richmond Kickers (6-5-7, 24 pts) split the points against Charlotte Independence (7-5-6, 26 pts), Saturday night in a hard-fought match at City Stadium. Ryan Sierakowski scored his first goal as a Kicker and Emiliano Terzaghi scored his ninth of the season.

Richmond started on the front foot with Sierakowski opening the scoring in the eighth minute. Nathan Aune started the play with a long throw into the box which was headed by two Charlotte defenders towards the feet of Sierakowski who took the shot cleanly with his left foot to secure the early lead for the Kickers.

The visitors found their equalizer in the 10th minute. Charlotte’s Miguel Ibarra moved the ball down the left sideline and crossed it to Joel Johnson who caught the ball with a right-footed volley.

Richmond would continue to put pressure on the Charlotte defense, taking 10 shots in the first half with four on target and 32 final-third entries to Charlotte’s 23.

In the 41st minute, Charlotte launched a counterattack through Avionne Flanagan who collected the ball just outside of Charlotte’s box and sprinted the length of the field. Akira Fitzgerald was able to anticipate the shot, close the angle, and go to ground to make the save to keep the score level.

After the break, the Kickers came out energized and pressured Charlotte with multiple chances right out of the gate.

In the 61st minute, Simon Fitch received a pass from Zaca Moran on the right side of the field. Fitch moved quickly down the line towards the Charlotte goal and played a perfectly weighted pass to Emiliano Terzaghi who split his defensive markers. Terzaghi carried the ball into the box and slotted his shot neatly in the top right corner for his ninth goal of the season.

Using this momentum, the Kickers attacked Charlotte’s defense searching for their third goal of the match.

Fitch was involved again in the 74th minute when Matthew Bentley brought down a lobbed through ball and played it in the middle for Fitch. Fitch collected it and hit it cleanly on target, but it was saved by Charlotte’s keeper.

In the 84th minute, Charlotte would win the ball at half-field and launch a counterattack through the middle. Tresor Mbuyu received the ball near the top of the box before hitting a shot from a narrow-angle that barely secured the late equalizer for the Independence.

During halftime as a part of celebrating Women In Sports Night with the YMCA of Greater Richmond, Kickers’ Chairman and CEO, Rob Ukrop, alongside former Richmond Kickers Destiny players, Mary MacKenzie-Grier, Jen Winnagle, Kimmy Cummings, Jessica Mendez, and Carter Blair Yeisley, announced that Richmond was bringing a USL W League expansion team to the River City in 2024.

Stay tuned to the W League Richmond social channels on FacebookInstagramThreads, and Twitter for more updates ahead of kickoff in 2024 including technical staff, branding, jerseys, and more!

The Kickers remain at home to host their first international friendly at City Stadium since 2018 when they host Comunicaciones FC of Guatemala on Tuesday, July 18th. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at richmondkickers.com/tickets.

For just a yearly subscription of $35, fans unlock up to 50% off their tickets, 15% savings on Kickers’ swag and more with a Kickers+ Membership! This steal of a deal pays for itself after your first four (4) purchased tickets. Become a member and start saving today! Additional information can be found at richmondkickers.com/kickersplus.

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Download the Richmond Kickers mobile app for news, contests, and more!

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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.