Photo courtesy Jeff Zimmerman | Penn FC
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Penn FC struck twice in the second half to claim back-to-back victories for the first time this season in a 2-1 victory against the Richmond Kickers at FNB Field on Tuesday night. Neither side produced much in attack early, but Richmond almost took the lead in the 26th minute as a smart build-up set up Chris Osei-Wusu only for Penn goalkeeper Romuald Peiser got just enough of the shot as he came off his line to turn it wide of the right post. Penn’s first threatening chance came off a corner in the 34th minute as Isaac Osae put a header just wide of the left post, and Aaron Dennis fired a low finish from the right side of the penalty area into the side-netting six minutes later, but the Kickers hit the crossbar six minutes into the second half as Luiz Fernando was released down the right to cross for Brian Shriver, only for the veteran’s first-time finish came back off the woodwork. Penn took the lead in the 56th minute, however, as Osae put away the rebound from Harri Hawkins’ initial effort from a free kick, and while Shriver almost answered for the Kickers seven minutes later as his free kick was tipped over the crossbar by Peiser to keep the hosts ahead, Freddie Opoku twice gave Penn a chance at an insurance goal, firing just wide with 14 minutes to go and then forcing a good save from Kickers goalkeeper Travis Worra. The hosts finally found their second of the night off the ensuing corner kick, however, as Dan Metzger’s diving header off Richie Menjivar’s cross found the bottom-left corner, and that goal proved important when Heviel Cordoves scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time for his second goal in as many games only for time to run out for the visitors before they could find an equalizer.
56’ – PEN – Isaac Osae
86’ – PEN – Dan Metzger (Richie Menjivar)
90+4’ – RIC – Heviel Cordoves (Brian Shriver)
Three Things That Matter:
1. With the club’s upcoming schedule, it looked as though Penn FC went into its past two outings on home turf needing to take victory in both to put itself into the race for the USL Cup Playoffs. Thanks to Isaac Osae’s finish against the Kickers on Tuesday night, Penn accomplished just that and now sit only one point out of the playoff places in the Eastern Conference standings. Consecutive road games against Louisville City FC, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Indy Eleven won’t be any easier because of the past four days, but Penn did get the points it needed to shape its approach for the upcoming three outings.
2. The Kickers continued to look for it first road victory of the season after another setback that came off what was a strong performance this past Saturday to defeat the Charleston Battery. In addition to its road struggles, where the side has lost all four games away from City Stadium in 2018, the Kickers have yet to record back-to-back victories this season. The Kickers were unlucky at times, with Brian Shriver’s shot off the crossbar when the game was scoreless having been a potential turning point for the visitors, but the club’s inability to string consecutive results together leaves Richmond still well off the pace in the race for the playoffs.
3. Penn had to pull out the victory without Tommy Heinemann, who had to leave the game in just the 17th minute with an injury, but in his stead both Aaron Dennis and Isaac Osae put in some hard work up top to try and create chances for the hosts to make a breakthrough. Osaw eventually provided it, being in the right spot to take advantage of a rebound 11 minutes into the second half, but Dennis put in a strong shift as well as he continued to look for his first goal of the season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Richie Menjivar, Penn FC – Menjivar pulled the strings well in midfield for Penn, completing 40 of 45 passes and recording four key passes and one assist to help the hosts earn an important victory.
Penn FC at Louisville City FC – June 16, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field
Richmond Kickers at FC Cincinnati – June 16, 7:30 p.m. ET, Nippert Stadium