RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Kickers claimed a 4-1 win over Icon FC in the Second Round of the U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night, en route to the Third Round where they will face the club’s MLS affiliate D.C. United on Tuesday, May 28. After conceding a 9th minute Argjent Duka goal, the Kickers rallied behind a Joseph Ngwenya penalty kick and a pair of Stanley Nyazamba tallies to oust their USASA opponent from tournament action. Kickoff for the U.S. Open Cup Third Round match-up is set for 7:00 p.m. at City Stadium and tickets are on sale now for $15, youth and adult, at RichmondKickers.com.
Searching for their second upset in as many weeks, Icon grabbed an early lead, capitalizing on their first chance of the night when defender Kevin Garcia eluded defenders on the left wing and fed the ball into Duka’s path. Duka dummied the ball as Nelson Becerra played him in behind the defense as Kickers goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra came off his line to challenge the charging forward. He beat his last mark and slotted the ball through to the far right corner inside the first 10 minutes of the opening whistle.
The visitors’ celebrations were short-lived, however, as the Kickers leveled the score two minutes later. Ngwenya held up the ball at the top of the box and played it to Nyazamba who beat the ‘keeper in similar fashion to draw honors even.
Soon after, Kickers midfielder Luke Vercollone warded off a feisty Becerra in Icon territory and threaded the ball through to Nate Robinson. The Kickers playmaker attempted a shot from the penalty area but goalkeeper Chris Duggan sprung into action to make the save.
The Kickers were rewarded for their offensive pressure in the 24th minute, gaining the advantage for the first time of the night. Sandwiched between a pair of defenders, Ngwenya was brought down in the box near the touchline and made no mistake from the spot, burying a low driven ball just inside the right post.
After conceding a second goal, Icon pressed forward and tested Dykstra several times before the end of the half. Attempting to benefit from a dangerously positioned free kick, Jonathan Yazo delivered a curving ball on target, forcing Dykstra to reach to his right to wrap it around the near post in the 31st minute. Dykstra came up big once again two minutes later when Teddy Nizolek got on the end of an inswinging free kick from the right flank, to bat the ball over the endline.
Following the restart, the Kickers renewed their pace and pressured Duggan in the 51st minute when Robinson served up a blazing cross through the box, connecting with Vercollone in the air but his close-range header was thwarted by the unwavering Icon goalkeeper. Vercollone was integral again seconds later when his cross found Nyazamba at the top of the box. Duggan punched the resulting shot from harm’s way, with the rebound falling to Robinson but his well-timed side volley glanced inches over the crossbar.
The Kickers extended their lead in the 62nd minute when Ngwenya received the ball at the top of the box and played it wide to an awaiting Mike Callahan deep on the right wing. The Kickers midfielder lined up a dangerous cross that took a big deflection off an Icon defender and over Duggan’s outstretched hands.
As regulation neared, Nyazamba added his second goal of the night to close out the 4-1 scoreline. Battling for the ball on the left edge of the box, he stepped around his defender and lofted the ball into the far upper 90 to carry the Kickers through to the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Before taking on D.C. United in the tournament next week, the Richmond Kickers return to regular season action this Friday, May 24 when they host the Harrisburg City Islanders at City Stadium at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
Box Score First Half Second Half Final
Richmond 2 2 4
Icon FC 1
9th minute: Icon - Argjent Duka (Kevin Garcia)
11th minute: Richmond – Stanley Nyazamba (Joseph Ngwenya)
25th minute: Richmond – Joseph Ngwenya (Penalty)
62nd minute: Richmond – Own Goal
85th minute: Richmond – Stanley Nyazamba (Nate Robinson)
Kickers: GK Andrew Dykstra, Henry Kalungi, Juan Arbelaez, William Yomby, Shane Johnson, Joseph Haboush, Luke Vercollone (Philippe Davies – 75’), Joseph Ngwenya (Matthew Delicate – 63’), Mike Callahan, Stanley Nyazamba, Nate Robinson (David Bulow – 86’)
Icon FC: GK Chris Duggan, Teddy Niziolek (Danny Fernandez – 80’), Kevin Garcia, Kevin Zalewski, Samuel Winslow (Nathaniel Winslow – 29’), Danny Szetela, Jonathan Lopuski, Samuel Gehman (Phil Swenda – 54’), Jonathan Yazo, Nelson Becerra, Argjent Duka
Icon: 7 Icon: 5 Icon: 10 Icon: 3
Kickers: 13 Kickers: 5 Kickers: 20 Kickers: 1
73rd minute: Teddy Niziolek (Icon FC)
76th minute: Nathaniel Winslow (Icon FC)
Bill Dittmar, James Brooks