Jordan Perruzza scored a brace as Toronto FC II rallied to defeat the Richmond Kickers, 2-1, Wednesday night at City Stadium.
Richmond opened the scoring in the 9th minute through Mutaya Mwape. The Zambian midfielder picked up the ball inside TFCII’s half and drove towards goal, beating two defenders before firing a shot past goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky to give the Kickers an early lead.
Toronto answered almost immediately as Perruzza scored his first goal of the night in the 13th minute. Noble Okello played Perruzza through with a clever pass and the 19-year old calmly tucked the ball in past Joseph Rice to equalize.
Perruzza gave his side the lead early on in the second half, taking space on the dribble as Richmond’s defense dropped off him before striking a swerving left-footed shot that found the bottom corner of the net. The goal was Perruzza’s 14th of the season, leaving him two behind North Texas SC’s Ronaldo Damus for the league lead heading into the final match of the season.
The Kickers had their best chance to pull themselves back level from a corner kick in the 57th minute. Mwape found Wahab Ackwei free at the back post with an in-swinging serve, but Ackwei’s header went wide from five yards out.
Toronto's Franco Ramos Mingo was issued his second yellow card for a late challenge in the third minute of second half stoppage time, leaving his side to play down a man for the dying moments of the match.
Both Toronto and Richmond have been eliminated from playoff contention; however, the win moves TFC II into sixth place and gives the side an opportunity to finish just outside the playoff places with another win on Saturday. Wednesday’s loss means Richmond will finish in ninth place despite the outcome of Saturday’s match against tenth place Orlando City B.