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Richmond Kickers 2-1 Charleston Battery: Magic Matthew Delicate

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The Kickers advance to the semifinals of the USL PRO playoffs off of a late header by Matthew Delicate.

Pattie Anderson

The Richmond Kickers beat the Charleston Battery tonight in front of a crowd of 2711, with some late magic from Matthew Delicate.

After a beginning 10 minutes that saw the Charleston Battery with the better of the chances, it was the Richmond Kickers who scored first. Luke Vercollone was fouled near the top of the box, and Sascha Goerres took the ensuing free kick. The ball pinged around in the box until it fell to the feet of Collin Martin, on loan for this game, who was able to slam it home from the top of the 18 yard box. The Kickers controlled the rest of the half and went into the break up 1-0.

The second half saw more of the same, with both teams evenly matched. It took a defensive mistake by the usually reliable William Yomby to allow Charleston to get on the board. He tried to clear a ball away but put it right into the path of a Battery attacker. Ryan Taylor had no chance, and the score was tied at 1-1.

The Kickers put on a flurry of shots in the last ten minutes, after the introduction of Nate Robinson and Stephen Basso.  However, after five minutes of stoppage time, regulation ended still tied at 1-1. The main action of the first period of extra time took place in the Battery half of the field, but the Kickers were unable to put any goals away. The biggest chance of the half was a shot by Quinton Griffith, whose shot hit off Ryan Taylor's bar.

The game changed at the end of the first half of extra time, when Emmanuel Adjetey was given a straight red card for a two footed, studs up tackle on Alex Lee. Richmond played the entire second half of extra time up a man, and their joy came in the 116th minute after looking like it would be another tie. Matthew Delicate subbed on in anticipation of penalty kicks and immediately scored a header off of a cross by Juan Arbelaez. There was no easy ending to the game though, as two red cards in extra time stoppage elongated the game. Juan Arbelaez of Richmond was sent off for kicking a Battery player during a stop in play, and Jose Cuevas of Charleston was sent off for punching Arbelaez in retaliation. Despite a last second flurry of action, Charleston was unable to equalize and the Kickers were victorious.

Because of Orlando City's league-leaving loss to Harrisburg, the Kickers will host the City Islanders next weekend in the semifinals.