Richmond Loses To Mexico Olympic Team.

RICHMOND, VA — Two last-second restarts led to a 3-1 loss for the Kickers as the Mexican Olympic National Team triumphed at the University of Richmond Stadium Wednesday night in front of an energetic crowd of 3,482. Rain showers throughout the day did not deter eager fans and the inclement weather parted just in time for the gates to open.

David Izazola claimed an early lead for the Mexican side with a 22nd minute tally. Kickers midfielder Mike Burke leveled the score just after halftime, with the score remaining deadlocked until the waning minutes of the match. Two back-to-back goals during stoppage time by Isaac Acuna and Piccolo Rojo, respectively, broke the stalemate, finishing the first of their three-game U.S. tour on top.

The Kickers applied pressure early, nearly finding the back of the net in the fifth minute of play. Forward Edson Elcock received a clever back heel flick on the right side from Jonathan Villanueva but his shot from 12 yards sailed just wide.

Eight minutes later, the Kickers narrowly missed a second scoring opportunity when Neil Barlow played a dangerous cross from the left wing, finding a diving Elcock on the far post but his header skimmed past the woodwork.

Despite the offensive pressure, it was the Mexican U-21′s who were the first to draw blood in the 22nd minute. Erbin Trejo delivered a well-placed corner into the mix, finding Izazola crushing to the near post. The Pumas forward played a perfect glancing header leaving Kickers goalkeeper Mark Murphy helplessly looking on.

Later, the Kickers searched for the equalizer in the 38th minute when Barlow crossed the ball to Elcock on the far post, who laid the ball off to Villanueva in scoring position. Goalkeeper Alejandro Dautt intercepted, denying a great opportunity to level the score.

Mexico had the last word before the end of the half when Trejo shook his defender and fired a lethal shot that was just off its mark.

Starting the second half determined to draw even, Kickers midfielder Luke Vercollone attempted a right-footed strike from 18 yards out that soared just over the crossbar.

It was not long into the second half that the home team cut the deficit when defender Sascha Görres delivered a brilliant cross to Burke at the far post. The Kickers fan favorite slotted his ball from close range into the far side netting in the 62nd minute.

Building on the momentum, Burke tried to catch goalkeeper Miguel Centeno off guard soon after but the 20-year old goalkeeper rose to the occasion, making a diving save resulting in a corner. The young netminder was tested again minutes later when midfielder Ross Mackenzie struck from 20 yards out, forcing Centeno to dive to his right to poke the ball just wide of the target.

In the final minute of regulation, Arnhold Rivas found himself open and let loose a screaming shot that was parried over the bar by Murphy. As stoppage time began, Erik Vera delivered the resulting corner into the mix, finding forward Isaac Acuna in the air who nodded home the Mexican side’s second goal of the night.

With just seconds remaining in stoppage time, Vera proved instrumental again, this time playing a free kick into the penalty area. Open at the penalty spot, Rojo won the ball and iced the cake with his header for their third and final tally.

The Kickers return to regular season action this Saturday, April 24th, hosting the Charlotte Eagles at the University of Richmond Stadium at 7:00 p.m. Save $2.00 on tickets by ordering in advance at RichmondKickers.com.

Scoring Summary

22nd minute: Mexico U-21 – David Izazola (Erbin Trejo)
65th minute: Richmond – Mike Burke (Sascha Görres)
90th minute: Mexico U-21 – Isaac Acuna (Erik Vera)
90th minute: Mexico U-21 – Piccolo Rojo (Erik Vera)

Lineups

Kickers: GK Mark Murphy, Yomby William (Henry Kalungi – 88′), Jordan Evans, David Hertel, Sascha Görres, Bobby Foglesong (Ross MacKenzie – 84′), Jonathan Villanueva (Mike Burke – 45′), Luke Vercollone (Gerson Dos Santos – 59′), Neil Barlow (Evan Harding – 84′), Edson Elcock (Stephan Nserko – 69′), Matthew Delicâte (Roger Bothe – 69′)
Mexico U-21: GK Alejandro Dautt (Miguel Centeno 45′), Hiram Mondragon (Piccolo Rojo – 57′), Victor Ruiz, Luis Ramos, Moises Velasco, Daniel Hernandez (Homero Guajardo – 57′), Erbin Trejo (Erik Vera – 60′), Luis Olascoaga, Antonio Salazar (Isaac Acuna – 60′), Leopoldo Morales (Arnhold Rivas – 57′), David Izazola

Cautions:

25th minute: Antonio Salazar (Mexico U-21)
31st minute: Sascha Görres (Richmond)
65th minute: Homero Guajardo (Mexico U-21)
90th minute: Mike Burke (Richmond)

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