The Young Reds are back in the win column.
Substitute Sal Bernal’s goal in the 75th minute was the difference as Toronto FC II defeated the Richmond Kickers 1-0 at the Ontario Soccer Centre. This was the Young Reds’ first home win of the season and the victory broke a four-game winless streak.
"It was a huge win for our confidence,” said head coach Jason Bent.
“To get over that finish line was a great feeling. We challenged a number of our players before the game and they came up big,” Bent continued.
Richmond registered the best chance in the first half in the 14th minute. Brian Ownby had his point blank opportunity denied by goalkeeper Quillan Roberts and Nick Hagglund cleared Yudai Imura’s ensuing attempt off the line.
The Kickers emerged from halftime on the front foot with Ownby coming close again to opening the scoring. His shot, however, hit the side netting and the Young Reds began to take over.
Bubacarr Jobe was a force at right back, running at Richmond defenders with menacing intent. He tested Kickers’ keeper Alex Turner with a looping shot that required a push over the crossbar.
Bent made a number of substitutions beginning in the 60th minute. Adam Bouchard, Martin Davis and Bernal were introduced into the match and made an immediate difference.
Jordan Hamilton had a terrific chance to open the scoring after posting up in the Richmond box, but Turner made a superb save to keep the game goalless.
The Young Reds would not be denied.
One minute later TFC II took the lead. Bouchard assisted on the game-winning goal, striking a perfectly weighted free kick that found Bernal streaking in behind the Richmond defence. From there, the UNLV alumnus turned two defenders and beat Turner for the winner.
Luca Uccello made his first start of the season, lasting 60 minutes. "[We’re] happy to get the win at home in front of our fans and hopefully there's more to come,” said the Woodbridge native.
The Young Reds head out on the road for three matches, beginning this Saturday with a match against the Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium.
“We'll enjoy the win today and begin to focus on Saturday's match tomorrow,” said Bernal.
Watch TFC II take on the Charleston Battery this Saturday at 7:30 PM ET. Watch the match on TFC2.ca.
TFC II – Sal Bernal 75’ (Adam Bouchard)
TFC II – Jordan Hamilton 39’ (caution) TFC II – Adam Bouchard 82’ (caution)
Toronto FC II: 2-3-2 8pts. Richmond Kickers: 4-3-1 13pts.
Toronto FC II – Quillan Roberts; Bubacarr Jobe, Nick Hagglund, Skylar Thomas, Anthony Osorio; Chris Mannella ©, Malik Johnson (Sal Bernal 68’), Aidan Daniels (Adam Bouchard 60’), Luca Uccello (Martin Davis 68’); Raheem Edwards (Liam Fraser 90’ + 3’), Jordan Hamilton (Shaan Hundal 79’) Substitutes Not Used: Phil Di Bennardo, Robert Boskovic
Richmond Kickers – Matt Turner; Alex Lee (Travis Pittman 90’ + 2’), William Yomby © (Romulo Peretta 83’), Hugh Roberts, Braeden Troyer; Samuel Asante, Lucas Paulini, Yudai Imura (Sekyere Owusu 65’); Brian Ownby, Luiz Fernando (Sunny Jane 71’), Jason Yeisley Substitutes Not Used: Macklin Robinson, Michael Callahan, Nate Shiffman Attendance: 1,222 – Sellout