Ivan Magalhaes connected with a Ryley Kraft free kick to score the game’s only goal as the Richmond Kickers earned a 1-0 victory over Union Omaha Saturday night at Werner Park.
Union Omaha came close to opening the scoring in the 7th minute after an Ethan Vanacore-Decker cross ricocheted off of a Richmond defender and fell to Elma N’For. The striker collected the loose ball and took a strong touch into the 18-yard-box before striking a shot across his body that narrowly missed finding the bottom corner of Akira Fitzgerald’s goal.
Los Buhos kept the pressure on the visitors and forced a turnover in their attacking third that led to a shot from Vanacore-Decker that just went over the crossbar.
N’For forced Fitzgerald into another save in the 27th minute after Devin Boyce slid a square pass to him at the top of the penalty area at the end of a quick counterattack. N’For’s first time effort was struck well, but right at Fitzgerald and the goalkeeper collected it with relative ease.
Richmond struggled to challenge Rashid Nuhu in the first half but nearly found a breakthrough in stoppage time after Ian Antley’s long throw towards the near post. Ivan Magalhaes flicked the throw-in towards Emiliano Terzaghi who nodded it towards goal, but the Argentine’s header went over the bar and the two sides went into the halftime break even at zero.
Fitzgerald made an impressive double save nine minutes into the second half to deny a long-range effort from Kraft and N’For’s shot from close distance on the rebound.
Omaha continued to press for an opening goal and Ferrety Sousa and John Scearce both narrowly missed the target just after the hour mark.
Richmond broke the deadlock against the run of play from a free kick in the 71st minute. Kraft swung in a dangerous ball from the set piece, finding Magalhaes near the back post whose header beat Nuhu to give the visitors the lead.
Sousa and Evan Conway nearly provided an immediate answer for Omaha, but their efforts were denied by Fitzgerald as the veteran goalkeeper earned his third clean sheet of the season.
Terzaghi nearly doubled the Kickers’ lead in the 89th minute and again in the 93rd minute, forcing Nuhu into two full stretch saves from inside the penalty area.
Magalhaes’ goal was enough for the Kickers to earn all three points and move into sole possession of second place in the League One standings with two games in hand on first-place Greenville Triumph SC. Union Omaha remains in fourth place with five games to play.
RIC (71'): Magalhaes (second), assisted by Kraft
Union Omaha: September 30 v. Fort Lauderdale CF (A)
Richmond Kickers: October 3 v. New England Revolution II (H)