FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - An 82nd minute winner from Richmond Kickers midfielder Ryley Kraft earned his side a 2-1 win and all three points as the Kickers extended a fine run of form on Friday night at Gillette Stadium.
Both sides had their chances in the first half, but neither was able to break the deadlock. New England nearly found the net on its very first foray forward when defender Colby Quinones got in behind the Richmond backline, but his shot was tame and no trouble for Akira Fitzgerald in the Kickers' goal.
The two best chances before halftime belonged to Richmond, who hit the woodwork twice. In the ninth minute, a shifty move from Mutaya Mwape on the left wing created space. Mwape's low cross found Luke Pavone, but the striker's shot caromed off the post.
Sixteen minutes later, some intricate Kickers build-up play around the edge of the area led to a powerful effort from Matt Bolduc which clanged off the crossbar and out of harm's way.
Richmond finally managed to get a shot under the bar and in shortly after the break. The goal came from Argentine striker Emiliano Terzaghi, who took an intelligent ball from Bolduc in stride to beat two defenders before finishing coolly for his fourth goal in five games.
New England responded well to going behind and got its equalizer in spectacular fashion on 73 minutes. Mayele Malango picked up the ball on the left flank and unleashed a curling effort that snuck inside the post, leaving Fitzgerald rooted to his spot. The goal was Malango's first as a professional and the first home goal in Revolution II history.
Unfortunately for Malango and the Revs, the Kickers would retake the lead late to grab the win. Picking up the ball about 30 yards from goal, Kickers right back Ian Antley floated in a pinpoint cross which beat the entire New England defense and landed perfectly for a sliding Kraft, who poked it home to cue scenes of celebration on the Richmond bench.
The victory is the Kickers' third in a row, but perhaps more importantly it lifts Richmond above Union Omaha into second place in the League One table. With first-place Greenville Triumph SC next on the schedule, the Kickers are sitting pretty at this early stage of the season.
New England also have Greenville up next, but they'll host the Triumph in a more somber mood. Though Revs II has put together some solid performances, it is still the only League One club without a win so far. The key to a turnaround for this young team will be learning to see out games late - New England has allowed three goals in the final 15 minutes of matches already this year.
New England Revolution II: August 26 v. Greenville Triumph SC (H)
Richmond Kickers: August 29 v. Greenville Triumph SC (H)