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North Carolina FC Falls to Richmond Kickers in Renewed Rivalry

By NCFC Communications, 03/31/18, 7:45PM EDT


RICHMOND, Va. (March 31, 2018)– North Carolina FC and the Richmond Kickers added another chapter to the historic professional soccer rivalry that has existed since 1993 on Saturday night at City Stadium. The Richmond Kickers would claim the points with a 2-1 decision in a high-intensity match, marking the true arrival of a renewed rivalry now that the clubs share the same league.
The victory was Richmond’s first win in an official, competitive match against a professional soccer side from the Triangle since August 18, 2000, when the Kickers downed the Raleigh Capital Express.
NCFC controlled much of the first half in a dominating start to the match. In addition to pinning the Kickers deep within their own area, NCFC tested the Richmond goal throughout the half. The breakthrough came in the 41st minute, as Austin da Luz found Steven Miller on the right flank. Miller then found an open Daniel Rios in the box and threaded a pass through several Richmond defenders to the Chivas loanee. The forward made no mistake with his chance and blasted a short-range effort off the crossbar and into the back of the net for the opening goal. 
Following the halftime break, NCFC survived an early push from Richmond. The club’s defensve effort was highlighted by a goal-line clearance from Aaron Guillen in the 61st minute. However, the result would not hold, as Richmond was awarded a penalty kick in the 75th minute. Yudai Imura would convert the kick to give Richmond the equalizer.
Minutes later, Richmond would strike again, as former NCFC man Brian Shriver created the go-ahead goal for Richmond, assisting Raul Gonzalez in the 83rd minute.
NCFC had a chance of its own to flip the script late, but excellent play from Richmond goalkeeper Travis Worra helped clinch the result for the Kickers. 
Up Next:
North Carolina FC will return home to host the Indy Eleven on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The contest has been dubbed ‘College Night’and will offer all college students with a valid ID discounted ticket and merchandise deals. To purchase tickets for the match, click here or call the NCFC Ticket Office at 919-459-8144.
The NCFC Youth Academy pipeline was on full display once again today, as Academy products DJ Taylor started at right back and Dre Fortune checked into the match in the 84th minute.
In addition to Fortune and Taylor, three other players with North Carolina ties started for NCFC – Greenville, N.C. native Michael Harrington, Winston Salem, N.C. native and team co-captain Austin da Luz and long-time Rocky Mount, N.C. resident Futty Danso.
Aaron Guillen made his NCFC debut, starting at center back. Donovan Ewolo also made his NCFC debut, coming on as a substitute in the 71stminute.
Daniel Rios earned his first start for the club and made the most of the opportunity, scoring NCFC’s opening goal – his first official goal while representing NCFC.
Steven Miller recorded an assist on the opening goal from Rios, finding the box score for the second-straight match. Miller scored the club’s first goal of the season two weeks ago against Tampa Bay.
Richmond’s previous win in an official professional soccer match over a team from the Triangle dates back to August 18, 2000 when the Kickers downed the Raleigh Capital Express.
Box Score:
RIC: (4-3-3): Travis Worra; Scott Thomsen, Alex Lee, Braeden Troyer, Connor Shanosky ©; Yudai Imura, Koby Osei-Wusu, Oscar Umar; Brian Shriver (William Yomby 90’), Heviel Cordoves (Raul Gonzalez 66’), Matt Bolduc (Finnlay Wyatt 66’)
Subs not sued: Trevor Spangenberg, Kent Dickey, Evan Lee, Neil Hlavaty
NCFC: (4-5-1): Alex Tambakis; Michael Harrington, Aaron Guillen, Futty Danso, DJ Taylor; Steven Miller, Austin da Luz ©, Kyle Bekker (Marios Lomis 88’), Graham Smith, Peabo Doue (Dre Fortune 84’); Daniel Rios (Donovan Ewolo 72’)
Subs not used: Austin Guerrero, Marcel Kandziora, Bernhard Luxbacher, Wuilito Fernandes
RIC: 2
RIC: Raul Gonzalez (Brian Shriver 83’) Yudai Imura (PK 77’)
NCFC: Daniel Rios (Steven Miller 43’)
RIC: Oscar Umar 41’,
NCFC: Aaron Guillen 76’
RIC: --
NCFC: --
Attendance: 5,032