FULLERTON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Blues played the visiting Richmond Kickers to a scoreless draw on Friday night. The match saw a physical approach and solid defending from the two sides, as both Los Angeles and Richmond are preparing for the upcoming USL PRO playoffs. The final ten minutes were the day’s most entertaining, Richmond creating some dangerous looks on goal while also losing midfielder Ross MacKenzie to a red card ejection.
The visitors created the only noteworthy opportunity of the first half in the 6th minute of play. Ryan Heins displayed some nice footwork to get past defender Cameron Dunn on the left side of the penalty area and sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal towards far post, where a sliding Matthew Delicâte came within inches of an easy finish.
The second started out as eventless as the first had been, the fans inside Titan Stadium having to wait until after the hour mark for a dangerous chance. Blues striker Peter Byers was pulled down on the edge of the box and Shahryar Dastan curled the ball over the crossbar on the ensuing free-kick.
The hosts dodged a huge bullet in the 86th minute when Kickers midfielder Shaka Bangura’s pinpoint accurate cross found a wide-open David Bulow in the penalty area and the 31-year-old missed a sitter from five yards as he side-footed the ball over the bar. Moments later, Richmond had another quality opportunity on a long-range free-kick, MacKenzie hitting a nice curling effort on frame, only to see Blues netminder Oscar Dautt dive low to his right to parry the ball wide.
Dautt came up big once again the 88th minute of play, as he displayed outstanding goalkeeping on a one-on-one opportunity for Richmond’s Henry Kalungi. After forcing Kalungi wide, the 35-year-old Mexican committed to chasing after the and pounced on the ball as the opportunity presented itself. The match would end on a sour note, MacKenzie coming in late on a sliding tackle to stop substitute Tomislav Colic on a Blues breakaway and picking up a straight red card for an automatic ejection.