Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – George Davis IV scored in the first minute of stoppage time to earn Louisville City FC a 2-1 victory against the Richmond Kickers before 6,009 fans at Slugger Field to keep the defending USL Cup champions perfect so far this season. Davis’ rifled finish from the left side of the penalty area off a pass by Ilija Ilic picked out the top-right corner of the net to give Louisville its fourth consecutive win of the season. Richmond took the lead in the 18th minute as he curled home a first-time finish from 25 yards after a piece of interplay with Heviel Cordoves to set up the opening. Louisville almost leveled on the half-hour mark when a corner kick from the left by Oscar Jimenez found Paolo DelPiccolo, but the captain’s diving header went wide of the right post. The hosts continued to press before halftime as Cameron Lancaster forced a good save by Kickers goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg, while Paco Craig sent a header from a corner kick just over the crossbar. Spangenberg made another good save for the Kickers in the 62nd minute off another good header from Louisville’s Craig, but moments later the hosts were awarded a penalty kick when Cameron Lancaster was brought down in the area and Kyle Smith shot home to level from the spot. Richmond almost regained the lead immediately as William Yomby’s header was kept out by Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, but Louisville then got back on the front foot as it pressed for a winner, and seconds after the game had entered stoppage time Davis’ finish sank Richmond’s hopes of leaving with a draw.
18’ – RIC – Brian Shriver (Heviel Cordoves)
64’ – LOU – Kyle Smith (penalty kick)
90+1’ LOU – George Davis IV (Ilija Ilic)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Louisville’s perfect start to the season was almost at an end but after a night that saw the side repeatedly knock on the door only to be turned away by Richmond’s defense the side finally broke through in the first minute of stoppage time to take a fourth consecutive victory to start the season, matching the start made by Western Conference contender Real Monarchs SLC. While the side’s shutout streak to start the season came to an end, the fight shown by the hosts to come back to take victory again showed what the rest of the Eastern Conference is up against this season.
2. The Kickers came close to earning another valuable point on the road before conceding the late winner, but the side may still be able to look back at the resilience it showed after the sting of the loss wears off and take some positives from the performance. At the center of those should be goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg, who pulled off some outstanding stops to keep Louisville out in the second half, and while he was unable to pull off one final stop to preserve a point the Kickers should return home to host Toronto FC II with the feeling that better results are on the way.
3. George Davis came on with 15 minutes to go as a substitute against his former club, and then handed Richmond a cruel twist to its valiant defensive effort with a tremendous finish that sent Slugger Field wild in another memorable moment for Louisville’s home fans. The former University of Kentucky graduate was a stellar performer for the Kickers before his move to Louisville, earning All-League honors while in Richmond, and that quality came to bear again in a devastating fashion.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
George Davis IV, Louisville City FC – Davis made his limited action on the night count, producing the dramatic game-winner to send Louisville to 4-0-0 for the season.
Louisville City FC at ATL UTD 2 – April 21, 7 p.m. ET, Coolray Field
Richmond Kickers vs. Toronto FC II – April 25, 7 p.m. ET, City Stadium