Shorthanded Chants fall to No. 3 Charlotte in double OT

After having a man sent off with a red card in the 24th minute, the No. 10 Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team held strong for 78 minutes of play.

But No. 3 UNC Charlotte scored the game-winner in the 102nd minute for a 1-0 win the physical top-10 clash.

Despite a season-high eight saves by sophomore goalkeeper Federico Bertele and numerous defensive saves by the shorthanded Chants, Charlotte’s Thomas Allen found the back of the net in the second overtime. The 49ers Tyler Gibson launched a one-bouncing corner kick toward Allen who wrapped his leg around a Coastal defender and heeled the ball in for the game-winning score.

Playing a man down throughout the entire second half and overtime periods, the Chants were forced from their attack first philosophy and into a defensive mindset. Over the final 57 minutes, the Chants defensive unit turned away 10 49er shots with Federico making several highlight reel-worthy saves along the way. However, the Chants did produce scoring opportunities of their own tallying four shots, including three that forced the 49ers Klay Davis to convert saves.

Emotions, frustrations, and a whole bunch a whistles highlighted the game which featured two yellow cards for both teams and a red card ejection for Coastal’s Jhamie Hyde in the 24th minute.

Offensively Charlotte controlled the game, taking a 16-8 advantage on shots. The 49ers also enjoyed a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. Aidan Kirkbride and Anthony Perez led the 49ers with three shots apiece. While, Owen Darby, Giuseppe Gentile and Donnie Smith each tallied two shots apiece.

In the opening minute of the second half Bertele made the first truly spectacular save of his Chanticleer career. Following a Charlotte corner and two headers the North Florida transfer made a diving save to his left to knock a sure goal harmlessly away.

Minutes later senior Robby Joe Daniels was nearly credited with a goal as he pressured Charlotte’s Davis, who came out of his box to send the ball back downfield. Daniels stepped in front of Davis’ boot and deflected the ball back toward the goal where it would bounce just outside the right post.

In the 68th minute junior Justin Portillo launched a free kick from 21 yards out that seemed to be arcing toward the right upper 90; however, the outstretched Davis was there to tip the attempt over the crossbar.

Charlotte twice appeared to net the game-winner in the first overtime period on breakaways by Giuseppe Gentile. Fortunately for the Chants, both were called back due to infractions.

Through the first 20 minutes of the first half the 1,744 fans in attendance saw both sides with scoring opportunities; however, neither side was able to capitalize. Charlotte was able to get a shot past Coastal’s Bertele for what looked to be an early go-ahead goal, but offside was whistled on the 49ers.

The aurora around the game, which already felt like a NCAA Tournament match, went up a notch in the 24th minute as a Chanticleer was sent off with a red card after a hard foul.  The Chants would not waiver and continue to attack the offensive third producing a pair of consecutive prime scoring opportunities. The first saw sophomore defender Henrik Robstad fire a rocket that was saved by the 49ers Davis after a long Daniels throw in.  Moments later Portillo launched a shot of his own that sailed just high of the crossbar.

Charlotte would have a few opportunities of its own throughout the remainder of the half but the Bertele and the stout Chanticleer defense would turn away the 49ers efforts.

Charlotte finished the match with a 16-8 advantage in shots and held a 7-3 edge in corner kicks. Coastal was whistled for 16 fouls to Charlotte’s 26 as both sides were booked with a pair of yellow cards.

The Chanticleers return to the pitch on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. against Ohio State in the Buckeye-hosted Wolstein Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Coastal defeated the then 21st-ranked Buckeyes 2-0 in last season’s CCU Tournament. The squad wraps up their time in Columbus on Sunday against Wright State on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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