RICHMOND, Va. - A goal from Marco Micaletto in first half stoppage time sealed a 1-0 away win for South Georgia Tormenta FC over Richmond Kickers on Saturday night at City Stadium, a result which could have massive implications in the fight for the second spot in the 2020 League One Final.
A physical opening 45 minutes produced little in terms of scoring opportunities for either side, as neither Richmond nor Tormenta registered a shot on target until first half stoppage time.
When that first shot on target did arrive, South Georgia made it count. The visitors took the lead through Micaletto, who was played in behind by a clever slipped pass from Nil Vinyals and finished calmly to the far post beneath Richmond goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald.
In the second half, Tormenta defended well and made it tough for the Kickers to find a foothold even as they pushed for a vital equalizer. Matt Bolduc finally registered Richmond's first shot on target in the 80th minute, but it was a comfortable save for Pablo Jara in the South Georgia net.
The Kickers would register one more shot on Jara's goal, but despite a late red card for Micaletto, Richmond couldn't break down the Tormenta defense and the visitors walked out with a 1-0 win. South Georgia had the additional feel-good factor of earning a clean sheet with defender Lars Eckenrode on the pitch, who returned from a long-term injury to play his first League One match since April 2019.
The result clinches home-field advantage for Greenville Triumph SC in the League One Final on October 30, and keeps the race for the second spot in that Final wide open. Richmond is still level with Union Omaha on 23 points, and four other teams remain close behind in the hunt for second place with two matches left for each contending club.
TRM (45+4'): Micaletto (third), assisted by Vinyals
Richmond Kickers: October 21 v. Orlando City B (A)
South Georgia Tormenta FC: October 21 v. New England Revolution II (H)