Sept. 17, 2016
Sept. 17, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The No. 17 Virginia men’s soccer team battled back from two goals down at the half to earn a 3-3 draw with No. 6 Clemson Saturday night in an entertaining, back-and-forth match at Klöckner Stadium. UVA is now 3-1-2 (0-1-1 ACC), while Clemson stands 3-1-1 (0-1-1).
Marcus Salandy-Defour (R-Sr., Kensington, Md.) scored a pair of goals for his first career brace and Sergi Nus (So., Barcelona, Spain) connected on a penalty kick for the game-tying goal in the 80th minute.
“I think for me, the second half is as good of a fight back as I’ve seen,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “When you’re down in the conference 3-1, I don’t care where you are — home, away — against as good of a team as Clemson, it’s generally a disaster. Our guys did a great job in the second half and we put ourselves in a position to win.
“I thought we’d get some chances (in the second half) and I thought we could get that second goal in the first 10 or 15 minutes. We got them on their heels and once we got the second one I felt very confident about the third and I actually thought we were going to win it.”
The match was contentious and physical throughout. Clemson was whistled for 32 fouls, while UVA was called for 17. The sides combined for seven cautions.
Virginia out-shot Clemson, 18-12, and put eight shots on goal to five for Clemson. UVA earned a dozen corner kicks, while Clemson took just three.
Virginia jumped on Clemson early, scoring just 81 seconds into the contest when Salandy-Defour corralled a errant pass inside Clemson territory and turned it into a breakaway, where he beat a charging Miralles inside the near post for his first goal of the year.
Clemson then scored three times over a 22-minute span to grab a 3-1 lead heading into the halftime break. In the 19th minute, Diego Campos sent a corner kick deep into the box, where it caromed off Michael Melvin, and Malick Mbaye tapped it home.
The Tigers hit UVA on a counterattack in the 33rd minute as Austin Burnikel found open field and sent it forward to Grayson Raynor, who returned it across the box to Burnikel. He deftly chipped it over Caldwell for the score.
Clemson then scored eight minutes later when Oliver Shannon sent a low cross that deflected off Nus and in for an own goal.
UVA started its comeback in the 58th minute when Edward Opoku (So., Rye, N.Y.) played a beautiful ball forward down the left flank to open up Salandy-Defour, who powered forward and to the top of the box, where he ripped a low shot to beat Miralles inside the near post.
Opoku again created problems in the 80th minute when he charged into the box to beat two Clemson defenders and was taken down to draw a penalty kick. Nus then buried his second PK of the year to knot the score, 3-3.
The Cavaliers continue ACC play next Saturday (Sept. 24) with their first-ever trip to Louisville, which upset top-ranked Notre Dame Friday night at home.