Forward Madison FC and South Georgia Tormenta FC drew, 1-1, Saturday night at Breese Stevens Field.
Paulo Jr. opened the scoring for Madison in the 24th minute, nodding home an inch-perfect pass that came off the foot of J.C. Banks. Banks curled a ball in behind the Tormenta back four, allowing Paulo Jr. to run on to it and flick it past goalkeeper Pablo Jara to score his third goal of the season.
Tormenta nearly answered immediately, as Jad Arslan volleyed Ricardo Gomez’s looping pass on frame, but goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre was equal to it at the near post.
Marco Micaletto eventually broke the deadlock in the 80th minute with a left-footed strike from 18 yards out. The goal came after brilliant interplay between Micaletto, Conner Antley, Shinya Kadona, and Arslan. The string of passes ended with Micaletto finding Arslan inside the 18-yard box and Arslan laying the ball back to Micaletto, leaving the midfielder with space to run on to it and strike it on frame. The goal was Micaletto’s eighth of the season and was enough to earn Tormenta a road point.
The draw does little to help either side move closer to clinching a playoff place. Tormenta moves into fifth place, tied on points with fourth place Madison. Both clubs sit one point behind Greenville Triumph SC, but have played one more match.
Next up for Tormenta is a home game against North Texas SC on September 14th, where the side will look for its first win since July 24. Madison, meanwhile, will travel to Richmond next weekend to play the red-hot Kickers for the third time in a month.
Braeden Troyer’s goal was enough as the Richmond Kickers defeated Greenville Triumph SC, 1-0, Saturday night at City Stadium.
Long-time Richmond Kicker Troyer scored the game’s only goal just before halftime, rising above everyone to head Joe Gallardo’s corner kick in at the back post. Troyer took advantage as Greenville tried to reorganize after making a substitution moments prior to the corner, sneaking in unmarked at the back post to score his first goal of the season.
Greenville created enough chances to find the back of the net, putting six shots on frame in the match despite playing without leading goal scorer Jake Keegan. The Triumph’s best chances came early on in the first half as Keegan’s replacement, rookie J.J. Donnelly, forced the Kickers into two impressive saves.
On the first, Donnelly curled a left-footed shot that looked destined for the bottom corner before goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald dove to his right to punch it out for a corner. Minutes later, Josh Hughes cleared Donnelly’s first time effort from inside the six-yard box off the line to keep the score tied at 0-0.
Fitzgerald made five saves to earn his seventh clean sheet of the season and keep his side’s playoff hopes alive. Winners of five of their last seven, the Kickers are in eighth place with 28 points and at least one game in hand on all the teams above them in the table. A win on Tuesday at North Texas SC would go a long way in Richmond’s final push for the playoffs.
Greenville remains in the top four despite suffering its first loss in six matches Saturday night in Richmond. The Triumph will finish Week 24 in either third or fourth place depending on the result of the match between Forward Madison FC and South Georgia Tormenta FC. Greenville will return home to host FC Tucson next Friday.