HARRISBURG, PA — Penn FC (4-4-5) ended its two game homestand with a 2-1 victory against the Richmond Kickers (4-7-1) at FNB Field Tuesday night.
Both teams took cautious approaches in the first half, leaving much to the imagination. Penn FC midfielder Calvin Rezende registered the first shot of the match — in the 23rd minute — with a one-time volley that met the hands of the Richmond goalkeeper Travis Worra. The teams finished the opening 45 minutes with a combined eight shots with only two on target.
The second half gave fans more to cheer about, as the game opened up with an increase of offensive pressure from both sides.
Rush Soccer’s First Team opened the scoring in the 56th minute. Forward Issac Osae fought hard to win the Blue and White a free kick in a dangerous position in the Richmond half. Midfielder Richard Menjivar curled the ball into the box, meeting the forehead of defender Harri Hawkins. The Hawkins effort was saved, but Osae was the quickest to the rebound, burying the goal and giving the home side the go-ahead tally.
The goal inspired Penn FC to continue attacking. In the 75th minute, Aaron Dennis dribbled down the middle of the Richmond defense before laying the ball off to midfielder Freddie Opoku. The retreating Richmond back line gave Opoku enough space to drag the ball onto his left foot, curling an effort that beat the keeper but was just outside the left post.
Penn FC continued to ramp up the pressure as they searched for a dagger.
Finally, Penn FC found the insurance it needed in the 86th minute. Pressure from Opoku up the left wing resulted in a shot deflected over the end line for a Penn FC corner kick. The subsequent curling Menjivar corner found an open Dan Metzger, doubling the lead for the home side late in the game.
Richmond ended Penn FC’s clean sheet bid deep into stoppage time. After pressure down the left wing, an attempted cross was deflected out for the corner. The ensuing corner from Brian Shriver found Heviel Cordovés to give Richmond a consolation goal in the 94th minute.
Osae and Metzger both earned their first goals of the season in the Blue and White. While Menjivar did not receive credit for his hockey assist on the first goal, his assist on the second goal vaulted him as the team leader in assists.
Penn FC ended its homestand with six critical points to climb up the Eastern Conference Table. The Blue and White now tentatively sit one point behind instate rivals Bethlehem Steel FC — who Penn FC hosts in its return to FNB Field on Friday, July 6. In the meantime, Penn FC now heads to Louisville City FC to face the Eastern Conference’s second-best team on Saturday, June 16. The match will stream live on ESPN+.