ARLINGTON, Texas – The Richmond Kickers rallied in dramatic fashion to take a 2-1 victory against North Texas SC on Sunday night at Choctaw Stadium as Zaca Moran and Ivan Magalhaes each found the net in the closing stages as the visitors earned a fourth consecutive win and moved up to fourth place in the USL League One standings.
North Texas had the better of the early going, and in just the seventh minute Jorge Almaguer sent a finish over the crossbar from the top of the six-yard in an early warning shot to the visitors. Another big chance came just before the half-hour mark as Kalil ElMedkhar turned his defender in the right side of the box but had his shot cleared off the line by Kickers defender Jalen Crisler, but the breakthrough arrived in the 33rd minute when Gibran Rayo collected a deflected pass by Blaine Ferri in the penalty area and shot low into the bottom-left corner of the net.
The Kickers almost responded immediately as Nil Vinyals split the North Texas defense with a great pass for Jonathan Bolanos as he cut into the left side of the penalty area only to hit the near post with his shot. The hosts continued to have the better of the chances overall, though, and Richmond’s Akira Fitzgerald produced a good save to keep Almaguer from making it a two-goal lead for the hosts with a driven shot from 25 yards just before halftime.
NTSC had a chance to add a second goal late in the second half as Collin Smith broke forward on a counterattack down the right from the halfway line into the penalty area but sent his shot into the side netting, and that proved key moments later in the 81st minute as the Kickers tied the game as Moran teed off on a shot from almost 30 yards that clipped the underside of the crossbar in the top-right corner of the net and came down over the line.
The Kickers then stole all three points deep in second-half stoppage time as off a free kick from the left by Vinyals to the back post, Magalhaes headed into the right corner of the net to send the visitors into wild celebration, and after withstanding late pressure from the hosts a vital victory for their playoff drive.
Richmond returns to action at home next Saturday, when it will welcome rivals Forward Madison FC to City Stadium. North Texas' next fixture is an away trip to Fort Lauderdale CF on Sunday, October 17.
USLLeagueOne.com Player of the Match
Ivan Magalhaes, Richmond Kickers – Magalhaes recorded the late winner for the visitors to cap a strong overall performance defensively that saw him win 13 of 17 duels and 4 of 5 tackles while also making 11 clearances and five recoveries.
NTX 33’ – Rayo
RIC 81’ – Moran
RIC 90+5’ – Magalhaes, assisted by Vinyals