The Harrisburg City Islanders were able to grab a late goal to get their second win in a row and fourth in five games in a 1-0 match against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night.
The two long-time USL rivals played a physical defensive game for the majority of the match. Neither team was able to find the final quality to put any challenge on the opposing goalkeeper.
Harrisburg finally broke through in the 75th minute with a goal from Ropapa Mensah. Mensah’s first goal of the season put the Islanders ahead for good to get them the win and the three points to push them into the top half of the league for the first time since the start of the season.
“It’s a good win and a much needed three points,” said head coach Bill Becher. “One thing that we’ve started to do is take care of business at home, which is important in this league because it’s hard to go on the road and win.”
The Islanders are back on City Island on Tuesday, July 12 against the Charlotte Independence at 7 p.m. The match against Charlotte is going to be one of the toughest tests of the season for the Islanders and it rounds out their three-match home stand.
Anytime Harrisburg and Richmond get together the game is bound to be close and physical with very little room to find a goal. This match started out no different as both teams played solid defense for the majority of the first half.
Harrisburg had the best chance of the half when Paul Wilson crossed into the box and found a streaking Mohammed who fired the ball just high of the net. Harrisburg wouldn’t get much more in the way of offensive chances but held steady on defense to keep the match scoreless going into the half.
The second half played out much like the first. Most of the play was in the midfield with neither team holding possession for too long or getting great looks at goal.
Just as the game was steaming towards another scoreless draw between these two clubs, Mensah came through with his first goal of the season.
Mensah took a pass from Jamie Thomas and then used a few moves to spin around the defender to get an open look on the net. Mensah took the opening to fire a low, hard shot to the far side of the net for the ultimate game-winner.
Harrisburg’s win is their fourth in five games and gives them 22 points on the season. Harrisburg’s recent run of games has given them momentum on the tables to get back into a playoff position. The Charlotte Independence, Harrisburg’s next opponent, currently sit second in the tables with 36 points. Charlotte already took a 2-0 win over the Islanders early in the season.
The Islanders return home to take on the second place Charlotte Independence in a clash of two teams who are playing some of the best soccer in the USL at the current time. Harrisburg will look to use their momentum to take down one of the best teams in the league.