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Rhode Island FC beats Las Vegas 2-1 for the first win in team history

LAS VEGAS – Rhode Island FC made history on Saturday evening, earning its first win of the season and in club history on the road against Las Vegas Lights FC. RIFC used an early attack combined with late defensive resilience for a 2-1 win.

Noah Fuson’s first career USL Championship goal in the 45th minute proved the match winner as the Ocean State club withstood a late surge in Las Vegas to come away with all three points.

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Rhode Island FC (1W-1L-4D) made the first breakthrough in the 25th minute, when Albert Dikwa “Chico” took advantage of a Las Vegas interception to send Noah Fuson with a through ball down the left wing. Fuson took the ball towards the goal line and cut a cross back into the penalty area which Stephen Turnbull found. The defender put a powerful left-footed effort into the back of the net to give the Ocean State Club the 1-0 lead.

Late in the first half, Fuson continued his Man of the Match performance, getting on the scoresheet in the 45th minute to give RIFC their first-ever multi-goal lead. After Chico’s shot was blocked from close range, Fuson was the first to react to the rebound, slamming the ball home from close range for his first career USL Championship goal, sending the visitors into the locker room 2–0.

Things got interesting early in the second half as Las Vegas (3W-4L-0D) pulled one back as Valentin Noël scored his team-leading third goal of the season. The scoring took place when Gaoussou Samaké received a pass in the penalty area and sent a ball across goal, where Noël headed a header past Jackson Lee at his near post in the 53rd minute.

Las Vegas came within inches of equalizing with just seven minutes to play when Riki Alba’s header from a corner hit the near post and rolled back into the mix before Rhode Island FC finally cleared the ball out of danger. Three minutes later, Charlie Adams sent a bending curler that flew just wide of the woodwork. In the 90th minute, Alba had another great chance when he crossed from inside the penalty area, but he could not suppress the shot as his one-time volley flew north of the crossbar.

RIFC returns home to close out the month of April on Friday by hosting reigning USL Championship League champions Phoenix Rising FC at 7:30 p.m.