RICHMOND, Va. – Early fireworks courtesy of Jordan Hamilton and Sunny Jane set the tone for a closely-contested clash between Toronto FC II and the Richmond Kickers in front of 5,069 fans at City Stadium Saturday, but the final word fell to the hosts when Matthew Bolduc bagged the eventual winner in the 68th minute to send Richmond to a 2-1 victory. The initial strike came for the visitors less than five minutes into proceedings, as Ryan Telfer sent in a free kick from just in front of the right corner flag that found its way through a flashing run from Shaan Hundal and onto the foot of Hamilton who buried it inside the near post. TFCII threatened to double the advantage with pressure after the restart, but a sweeping tackle from William Yomby in his own area launched a Kickers counter that produced an equalizer when a lofted ball from Alex Lee was met by the head of Sunny Jane. Jane’s header was pushed onto the crossbar by Toronto keeper Angelo Cavalluzzo but came down over the line to pull Richmond level. The score remained even until the eight minutes after the hour mark when substitute Franck Tayou held the ball up, allowing Bolduc to take a clever touch around a defender, creating space for a shot and his first goal of the season. With the win, the Kickers improve to 4-12-8 overall (20pts) and 4-6-3 at home while Toronto slides to 4-14-6 overall (18pts) and 1-11-2 on the road.
4’ – TOR – Jordan Hamilton (Ryan Telfer)
5’ – RIC – Sunny Jane (Alex Lee)
68’ – RIC – Matthew Bolduc
Three Things That Matter:
- 1. The lightning start was off script for two sides that stand level as the bottom two in the league in terms of scoring. In the 24th match of the season for both squads, Hamilton’s opening strike – his fourth in six appearances this season - was just the seventh goal Toronto has scored in the opening frame while the response from Jane represented the sixth goal that the Kickers have collected prior to the halftime whistle. The threat to either goal cooled considerably over the remainder of the first half however, as the teams combined for one shot on target apiece between the equalizer and the break. The second half featured significantly more quality chances for both sides with both keepers forced to come up big before Bolduc’s intervention broke the deadlock for good.
- 2. The victory was the second for the Kickers in its last four home outings and Richmond will get the chance to close out a string of three consecutive games at City Stadium with another next Saturday against Charleston. The Battery edged Richmond, 1-0, on the strength of a Justin Portillo penalty in the only previous meeting between the two sides this season. The loss was one of 14 clean sheets that opposing teams have recorded against the Kickers in 2017 but with Jane and Bolduc combining to send the squad past Toronto Saturday, Richmond improved to 3-1-0 when scoring two or more goals this season.
- 3. The result was another difficult one away from home for a TFCII side that has now played a league-high 14 road matches to this point in the season. Hamilton’s goal represented the first time Toronto held a lead on the road since Malik Johnson tallied the team’s lone goal in a 3-1 setback at Orlando City B on April 4 but TFCII was unable to hold off the Richmond rally. Next week brings a trip to take on conference leaders Charlotte but following the clash with the Independence, the side can turn its attention to a favorable closing stretch that will see Jason Bent’s squad play six of its final seven matches within friendly confines where they have taken the field in only four times in the last nine weeks. With five of those contests scheduled to feature opposing sides that currently stand among the top nine in the East, events north of the border figure to play a prominent role in shaping the narrative of what is a packed playoff race. Toronto is unbeaten in its last three home appearances, most recently earning four points from back-to-back games against frontrunners Charleston Battery (W, 1-0 – August 5) and Charlotte (T, 2-2 – August 9).
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Travis Worra, Richmond Kickers – Making just his second start of the year, Worra rebounded from the early misstep to stop the final five shots he faced, paving the way for a Richmond side that has seen goals come at a premium to complete the comeback