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Photos & Game Summary: Kickers Salvage Waning Minutes Draw

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Official Kickers Game Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS

   1

90+2’ Billhardt (Gomeiro)

ONE KNOXVILLE SC

   1

 30’ Tekiela (Ritchie)

 

The Richmond Kickers (1-3-2, 5 pts) came back in second-half stoppage time to force a draw against One Knoxville SC (3-1-1, 10 pts).

Trailing 1-0 at the 90th minute, the Kickers had knocked on the door for the entire second half, outshooting Knoxville and outpossessing them nearly 58 percent to 42. Finally, the breakthrough came two minutes in when Zaca Moran found João Gomeiro just outside the top left corner of the box. Gomeiro sent a beautiful cross to the far post which found the head of Adrian Billhardt. Billhardt redirected the ball past goalkeeper Sean Lewis and into the back of the net to tie up the score.

Billhardt’s goal marked his fourth in league play for the Kickers – tying him for second in the league – while Gomeiro’s assist was his first of the season.

The Kickers continued to turn the screws on Knoxville’s defense and nearly found a late go-ahead goal. In the sixth and final minute of stoppage time, Vinyals fired one last strike from the top of the box that forced a last-second deflection from a One Knox defender to save their road point.

The match began with Moran celebrating his 100th appearance with the Kickers making him the fourth player in the USL League One era to reach the milestone after Emiliano Terzaghi and former Kickers Matt Bolduc and Akira Fitzgerald. It was also his 99th start showing off his dependability and importance to the Richmond squad.

He would control the midfield throughout the match. Serving from a defensive-minded position, he connected on 80 percent of his passes overall and found the feet of his teammates on 89 percent of his passes in the final third.

The match proved to be physical and defensive as each match between Richmond and Knoxville has been defined in the early stages of their budding rivalry.

In the third minute, One Knox broke through and Gio Calixtro crossed the ball in to find Angelo Kelly at the top of the six-yard box. Goalkeeper Ryan Shellow closed the angle down on Calixtro before making a beautiful diving save on Kelly, allowing Chandler O’Dwyer to send the ball out of play.

In the 30th minute, One Knox found the opening goal after a ball crossed in from Stuart Ritchie found the foot of Kempes Tekiela who caught it on the volley and found the back of the net.

The Kickers nearly answered five minutes later. Maxi Schenfeld sent a beautiful free kick into the box. He placed it right on the head of Dakota Barnathan who directed the ball on goal but keeper Sean Lewis got his hands in the way at the very last second.

In the 60th minute, Ryan Sierakowski dribbled down the pitch and took a beautiful strike from roughly 35 yards out but it slid just wide left of the goal.

Shellow made another great save in the 68th minute and after a bit of possession change through the 70th, a slide tackle from Barnathan found the feet of Griffin Garnett. Garnett sent a long ball to Billhardt on the run who then strode into the box and got a shot off. Lewis got himself in the way again and ultimately made the save.

The Kickers saw another free kick in the 80th but Lewis got a hand to the curling ball from Vinyals and punched it out.

In the 85th minute One Knox broke free in transition, but Garnett and Gui Franca, making his professional debut for the Kickers, shut down the transition attempt. After regrouping, Knoxville’s Rodolfo Castro Jr. tried to take a strike from the top of the box but Moran knelt to put his whole body in the path of the ball and denied the shot.

Friday’s match marked the third-ever contest between Richmond and Knoxville and marked the third straight match to end in a draw.

The Kickers will travel to take on the Chattanooga Red Wolves on May 11 in league play. The Kickers return home on May 18, when they will face Greenville Triumph for First Responders Night presented by Bon Secours. Tickets are available at richmondkickers.com/tickets.

Season Tickets are now available for the 2024 season! Fans can unlock massive savings, access to exclusive events, a complimentary CityStadium+ Membership and so much more. Be a part of every out-of-your-seat experience in 2024 with Season Tickets! Additional information can be found at richmondkickers.com/seasontickets.

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

 

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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.