10-man Hailstorm fall just short in a late comeback against Richmond.
Richmond, Va. – It started as a night to forget for the Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC in their second visit of the season to the Richmond Kickers.
Things started to go south after only 14 minutes when head coach Éamon Zayed was forced to make his first substitution. Due to an injury, Jerry Desdunes made way for Ethan Vanacore-Decker, forcing him on to the pitch early. Stefan Lukic had the chance to put the Hailstorm in front with a shot from the edge of the box, but keeper Akira Fitzgerald was able to save it.
Things went from bad to worse when Destan Norman drew a yellow card trying to stop a counter attack in the 28th minute. Then when on the ball a minute later, Norman took a heavy touch and seemed to get the ball before the Kickers player. However, the referee did not see it that way and Norman was sent off with his second yellow card of the evening. It was the first time in a USL League One contest that a Hailstorm player had been sent off.
Northern Colorado looked like they were going to be able to get to halftime and regroup. But then Nil Vinyals and Emiliano Terzaghi tallied goals for the Kickers in the 42nd and 45’+2 minutes respectively.
It was a set piece that got Northern Colorado back into the match in the 68th minute. An Arthur Rogers free kick was knocked home by captain Rob Cornwall to slice the lead in half.
Shortly thereafter Richmond found their third from Jonathan Bolanos in the 76th minute. With the two goal lead reinstated it meant that the Hailstorm had just under 15 minutes to claw back a point on the road.
Another set piece would spring the club to life again. The kick was taken by Rogers again but this time it was Cornwall with the assist, finding Leo Folla to finish it. with a center back to center back connection. The team’s leading goal scorer Irvin Parra was thrown on off the bench to try and snag the late equalizer.
But it would be Cornwall with the chance that nearly tied the game up. In stoppage time the ball found it’s way to the Irishman in the air. He put his boot through it but Fitzgerald made the diving save to grab the ball and it would end 3-2.
“I thought the character was excellent. I think so many teams would have obviously gone into half, ten men, two-nil down, so many teams would have held their heads and gave up. The fight we have in this room is fantastic,” said Rogers. “Another day we get the result there. Even though it was a loss, there’s a part of me that feels like we learned a lot and improved a lot, so we’re headed in the right direction.”
“The second half the guys fought hard and played excellently. We put them in a different shape. I said look go out and win the second half and we did 2-1. Result aside I saw progression again, I thought the lads played really well,” said Zayed. The club is back in Greeley on Wednesday night to take on the Central Valley Fuego FC, at 7 p.m. MDT at Jackson Stadium.
Opening in 2022, the 118-acre Future Legends Complex will feature two stadiums, multiple baseball diamonds and multi-purpose fields, an indoor sports arena, lodging, and retail; and will host guests for major sports tournaments, events, leagues, and more.