The Richmond Kickers came from behind to beat a 10-man Orlando City B Wednesday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.
Orlando opened the scoring in the 8th minute as Kenji Tanaka capped off a quick counterattack, slotting a low shot past Akira Fitzgerald to score his second goal of the season.
The Kickers produced a quality counterattack of their own ten minutes later as Fitzgerald found Matt Bolduc with a punt down the left flank. Through on goal, Bolduc cut back on to his right foot and struck a shot on frame, but Austin Aviza parried it away at the near post.
OCB’s Daniel Rosario was sent off in the 24th minute after being whistled for a handball in the box. Aviza saved Bolduc’s attempt from the penalty spot, getting fingertips to his well-struck shot to touch it onto the post.
Richmond broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when Greg Boehme found Mutaya Mwape free at the top of the penalty area. Mwape settled himself before curling a perfectly-struck shot into the top right hand corner of Aviza’s goal.
Fitzgerald made two quality saves to close out the half, first denying Wilfredo Rivera from close-range then stopping Moises Tablante from distance.
The Kickers pushed ahead in the 51st minute after Scott Thomsen played a teasing ball in behind the Orlando back four. Aviza spilled the cross to Mumbi Kwesele who found Stanley Alves free in front of goal. Alves slipped a shot past Aviza at the near post to give the visitors the lead.
Substitute Oalex Anderson doubled Richmond’s lead 13 minutes later with a fantastic individual effort. Anderson received a pass from Thomsen with his back to goal and shrugged off his defender as he turned before dribbling past multiple OCB defenders on his way into the penalty area. He shifted the ball onto his left foot to move past the last defender and calmly slotted a shot past Aviza for his first goal of the season.
After playing down a man for the majority of the match, Orlando struggled to create quality chances and get themselves back in the contest. Richmond closed out the remaining 25 minutes with relative ease and moved into second place in the League One standings, tied on points with Union Omaha but ahead of Los Buhos in the table on the wins tiebreaker.
With the win, the Kickers remain in control of their own postseason destiny. A win on Saturday against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC guarantees Richmond a place in the League One Final.
ORL (8'): Tanka (second), assisted by Tablante
RIC (36'): Mwape (first), assisted by Boehme
RIC (51'): Alves (first), assisted by Kwesele
RIC (64'): Anderson (first), assisted by Thomsen
Orlando City B: October 24 v. Greenville Triumph SC (H)
Richmond Kickers: October 24 v. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (H)