Uzo’s golden goal propels Chants past Lancers in OT

ccusoc-uzoTobenna Uzo scored a golden goal, his second of the match, in the 106th minute to lift No. 10/11 Coastal Carolina to a 2-1 victory over Longwood in Big South action Saturday afternoon on the Lancers’ home field.

Uzo, who scored the match’s first goal in the 57th minute, headed home the game winner after receiving the ball from Martin Melchor inside the Longwood 6-yard box. The goal marked Uzo’s fourth of the season and his second brace as a Chanticleer.

The victory improves Coastal to 11-1-1 on the season and 5-1-0 in Big South play. The Lancers fall to 7-7-0 and 2-3-0 in league action.

Uzo broke the scoreless defensive struggle at the 56:41 mark with his third goal of the season. The scoring play was ignited by a defensive stop by Tommy Gudmundsson. The sophomore centerback made an excellent tackle on a Longwood forward near his own 18-yard box, and played the ball ahead to Uzo. The senior then out-raced his defender down the field and tucked his right-footed shot into the left side netting.

Coastal appeared to have the match put away until Longwood’s Zach Crandall lofted a scoring strike from 35-yard out to level the score with 2:22 to play in regulation. Crandall hit his shot on net, but the ball appeared to dip just before Coastal’s Fernando Pina was able to scoop the attempt. The ball deflected off Pina and into the net, evening the match 1-1.

Coastal applied pressure throughout the remainder of regulation and throughout the first overtime session, but the Lancer defense held firm and did not allow a Coastal attempt on target until Uzo’s game-deciding goal.

The opening 45 minutes played as a defensive affair with neither team finding ample space in its attacking third. Playing into the defensive aspect of the match was Longwood’s strategy of routinely playing nine and 10 men behind the ball in an effort to stymie the Coastal attack. The Chanticleers entered the half with a 4-2 advantage in shots and a 3-0 edge in corner kicks.

The Chanticleers finished the match with a 14-8 advantage in shots, including a 4-3 edge in attempts on target. In addition, Coastal out-cornered the Lancers 9-0. Coastal’s Pina and Longwood’s Carlos Canas were each credited with two saves in the match.

Coastal continues its road swing at Winthrop on Wed., Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. The Chanticleers and Eagles have developed one of the fiercest rivals in Big South play with the sides meeting on 47 previous occasions. The Chants hold a 27-17-3 lead in the all-time series, including wins in six of the last seven derbies.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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