Photo courtesy of Brian L. Zimmerman / Richmond Kickers
RICHMOND, Va. – A goal was not in the cards for both the Richmond Kickers and Harrisburg City Islanders as they played to a scoreless draw on Saturday at City Stadium. Richmond opened the 2017 season with a 1-0 win against the City Islanders the last time on March 25, so the Kickers hold the upper hand in the season series (1-0-1) when they meet for a third and final time at Harrisburg’s FNB Field on July 15. It is the first 0-0 draw for both clubs this season, and not the most ideal result for either as they sit in the lower half of the Eastern Conference standings. Richmond is now 2-4-2 (8 points) overall and 2-2-2 at home. Harrisburg moves to 2-3-2 (8 points) overall and 1-3-1 on the road.
#RICvHAR: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. The Kickers were lurking in both halves, but they weren’t able to test 2015 USL Goalkeeper of the Year Brandon Miller too often. Richmond had a couple shots on frame in the first 45 minutes, but in the second half, the Kickers were wide of the frame on a number of occasions, whether it was Mallan Roberts with a diving header in the 62nd minute, Alhaji Kamara in the 71st minute or Anthony Grant in the closing minutes. This was the fifth time the Kickers’ attack has been shut out this season. Richmond has scored just four goals this year.
2. Harrisburg did not generate a shot on goal in the first half and for most of the second half. Cardel Benbow’s speed was the most effective weapon, and it took just 22 seconds to see that. Benbow darted into the box and it took an Alex Lee block to keep things scoreless, as Richmond would have been deflated if Harrisburg pounced on the host side so early. Benbow also weaved his way through the Kickers’ defense in the 66th minute and drew a little shoulder-to-shoulder contact as he made his way toward the box, and Richmond was able to get a touch to avoid that potential scare.
3. Richmond honored former striker Matthew Delicate at halftime as he announced his retirement in February of this year. He scored more than 100 goals during his professional career and is one of the USL’s all-time leaders with 42 goals since the 2011 USL season. “I’ve spent 17 years in this area, four at VCU, and I played for the Kickers for 10 seasons,” Delicate said. “I can look back and feel proud of what we’ve achieved here and how the club has grown, how the league has grown, how soccer has grown in general in the country. It’s so great to still be out here, being able to watch and see how the game’s evolved.”
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Cardel Benbow, Harrisburg City Islanders – Benbow didn’t have anything on the score sheet, but his activity (four shots) kept Richmond’s defense honest through the match.
Richmond Kickers at Rochester Rhinos – May 21, 4:05 p.m. ET, Capelli Sport Stadium
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Charleston Battery – May 20, 7 p.m. ET, FNB Field