Six elite saves by Travis Worra kept Richmond in the game Saturday against Charleston Battery, but his team failed to score in a 1-0 loss. Even against a ten-man Charleston squad, the Kickers couldn’t get on the board, all but dashing any hopes of a playoff run.
Worra was tested immediately. Romario Williams was sent in behind the Richmond backline with a ball over the top in the 2nd minute, and Worra came off his line at just the right time to disrupt Williams’s shot and send it wide for a corner. Charleston’s attack wouldn’t end there.
In the 15th minute, Williams fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that Worra tipped onto the crossbar, then collected the rebound before Charleston could take advantage. Two minutes later from almost the same place, Williams struck the crossbar again, and this time Kotaro Higashi was there for the second chance. He headed the ball on target directly in front of goal but Worra made the stop.
Alex Lee made trouble for Charleston during the first half, playing aggressively and finding space down the right side. Charleston’s frustration showed in the 37th minute when Williams kicked Lee off the ball and earned a straight red card from referee Kevin Broadley. There wasn’t much in the contact, but it was way off the ball, malicious and directly in front of the referee.
At the very end of the first half, veteran William Yomby was injured defending a header in the Richmond box. As he sought treatment, Charleston made a change in goal, as Odisnel Cooper came on for injured Alec Kann. Yomby was able to continue, but things seemingly went from bad to worse for Charleston after a flying start.
But Richmond’s advantage wasn’t enough to grab any away points. Late in the 2nd half, a ball over the top forced Richmond’s defense to send it out for a corner kick. Maikel Chang stepped up and bent it near post, and Heviel Cordoves flicked it on past Worra giving the Battery an unlikely lead.
With the 1-0 loss, the Kickers have to win all of their remaining games to have any chance at making the playoffs. They have two home games left, starting this Saturday against Rochester Rhinos during Oktoberfest at City Stadium. Richmond closes out their home slate on Sunday, October 1st at 5pm against Orlando City B. The Kickers’ final two matches are on the road at Saint Louis FC and Louisville City FC.