Clemson works overtime, knocks off No. 20 Coastal

ccusoc-clem2Clemson’s Oliver Shannon scored the overtime game-winner on a shot after a scramble in the box to lift the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over visiting No. 20 Coastal Carolina on Tuesday evening.

The loss, which snapped Coastal’s seven-game win streak, moved the Chanticleers to 10-4-0 on the season. The victory was Clemson’s second straight over a top-25 ranked opponent and improved the Tigers to 8-6-0 overall.

Clemson wasted no time challenging the stingy Chanticleer defense. In the first minute, the Tigers used a quick restart just outside the 18-yard box to spring Saul Chinchilla in the box. Chinchilla found space a ripped a shot that took a fortuitous Coastal bounce off the far post and out of play.

However, Clemson continued its attack and found the game’s opening goal in the third minute of play. The Tigers’ earned a corner kick that Thales Moreno placed perfectly on the head of Alexandre Happi, who slotted the ball inside the right post.

Only 2:43 elapsed off the clock before the Chanticleers leveled the score via Elis Bjornsson’s second penalty kick of the season. Ricky Garbanzo struck a shot inside the 18-yard box that was deflected, but not cleared by the Clemson defense. The loose ball was corralled and sent into the back of the net by CCU’s Louis Dargent, but a Tiger foul inside the box nullified the goal and set up Bjornsson’s third score of the season.

The remainder of the opening stanza unfolded with the sides trading spells of attack. But, mixed into the flow of the game were 18 combined fouls and three yellow cards – two issued Clemson and one to Coastal. Clemson closed the half with a slim 9-8 advantage in shots attempted, while Coastal held a 5-4 edge in corner kicks.

Coastal appeared to score the go-ahead goal in the 52nd minute on a service by Ricky Garbanzo that connected to the head of Tommy Gudmundsson. Unfortunately, an offside call whistled against the Chants nullified the goal.

The 72nd minute saw Clemson’s Happi have a great look at the goal, but his shot from just inside the six-yard box went inches wide of the left post. A minute later it was Coastal’s turn for a potential score. Bryce Follensbee ripped a rocket from 19-yards out that was dipping under the crossbar before Clemson’s Andrew Tarbell made an acrobatic play to tip the ball over the bar.

Neither team was able to find much rhythm during the final 18 minutes of the match, leaving the sides’ deadlocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes of play.

Paul Clowes free kick just outside the left edge of the 18-yard box set up Shannon’s 96th-minute heroics. Clowes’s free kick was initially deflected by a Coastal defender. The ball tricked out to CU’s Happi, whose subsequent shot was also blocked. Shannon controlled the rebound and struck his eight-yard shot down the center of the goal for his second game-winner of the season.

The match concluded with Clemson holding a 17-13 advantage in shots and Coastal holding a 7-4 margin in corner kicks. Coastal’s Devin Cook-Perales and Clemson’s Tarbell each recorded three saves.

Coastal will take the coming week off before renewing its rivalry with Big South foe Winthrop on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The Chanticleers and Eagles at slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff at the CCU Soccer Stadium. Coastal owns a 26-17-3 lead in the all-time series, including wins in both the regular season and Big South tournament a year ago.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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