Clemson closes out CCU’s soccer season with 2-1 win

clemsoc-4Coastal Carolina’s Tommy Gudmundsson scored in the second half, but was unable to overcome a two-goal deficit against seventh-seeded Clemson in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Division I Men’s Soccer Championship as the Tigers hung on for the 2-1 victory.

The loss ends Coastal’s season with a 16-6-1 record. The victory advances the Tigers to the round of 16 where they will host North Carolina Sunday.

Clemson scored late in the first half and again in the opening 15 minutes of the second half to take its 2-nil lead. The Chants answered midway through the second half, but were unable to find the equalizer despite creating opportunities and having the better of the possession through the later stages of the match.

Clemson’s Paul Clowes broke the scoreless tie with 40 seconds remaining before the half. A Coastal foul just outside the 18-yard box set up Diego Campos’ direct kick from 24-yards out. Campos’ shot was saved by Coastal’s Devin Cook-Perales, but not controlled. The ball rebounded high and dropped to the foot of Clowes, who blasted it just under the crossbar for his second score of the season.

Minutes before the goal, Cook-Perales came away with a save on a Phanuel Kavita penalty kick. Coastal was called for a foul in the box, setting up Kavita’s penalty opportunity. Cook-Perales guessed correctly with a dive to the right and smothered Kavita’s shot, keeping the match scoreless with 3:38 showing before the intermission.

The bulk of the initial 45 minutes of play was centralized in the midfield. Both teams broke through for scoring opportunities at points in the half, but the impressive backlines for both teams held strong and turned away several shots. Each side finished the half with six shot attempts, while Clemson owned a slight 3-2 edge in corner kicks.

Clemson found its second goal of the evening in the 57th minute. Alex Happi played a ball ahead to Manolo Sanchez down the right flank. Sanchez took a touch just inside of the right corner of the 18-yard box and served a curling ball to the far post. Campos ran onto the ball and slotted it home for his third of the season.

Coastal got a goal back in the 61st minute of play as Gudmundsson scored his sixth of the season. A Clemson foul on the right side of the field set up an Elis Bjornsson free kick. Bjornsson sent a high-arcing free kick into the box where it was headed home by Gudmundsson, bringing the score to 2-1 in Clemson’s favor with 28 minutes to play in regulation.

In the 70th minute Big South Defensive Player of the Year and All-American candidate Shawn McLaws made a man miss on the right side of the 18-yard box and served a bouncing ball through the box. Unfortunately, Clemson’s Andrew Tarbell was able to smother the ball before Martin Melchor was able to connect with a shot.

As the clock wound down the Chanticleers continued to press forward into the Tigers’ defensive third. But each time Clemson was there to knock down final pass attempts or block Coastal’s shot attempts.

Coastal ended the match outshooting Clemson 15-8, including 9-2 in the second half. Clemson’s Tarbell made six saves in the winning effort, while Coastal’s Cook-Perales made two saves.

Coastal is now 10-11-1 all-time in its 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 9-10-0 under the direction of head coach Shaun Docking.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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