CLEMSON, SC-Oguchi Onyewu scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in leading Clemson to a 3-2 double overtime win over Alabama-Birmingham in the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament Round of 16 at the Tigers' Riggs Field Sunday afternoon.
Clemson down 2-0, scored two goals to even the score in the last 10:06 of
regulation to force overtime. Onyewu, a Missouri Athletic Club National
Player of the Year candidate, scored the game winner at the 106:55 mark in the second overtime period when he headed in a pass sent from just outside of the penalty box by Oscar Bringsved.
UAB struck first in the match as they scored late in the first half at the
39:59 mark. Nelson Mata crossed the ball from the right side of the
field to Flavio Monteiro who headed the ball in from 12 yards out for his
seventh goal of the season.
The Blazers took a 2-0 lead early in the second half when Martin Rey took a pass from Bubba Garcia and placed a shot in left corner of the net from about 11 yards out.
Despite out shooting the Blazers 23-5 for the match, the Tigers found themselves down two goals with just over ten minutes to play in the match. Their first goal came at the 79:54 mark when Nick Rivera headed in a crossing pass from Brett Branan. Chase Hilgenbrinck was also credited with an assist on the play as he played a pass to Branan to start the run.
Then with just over a minute left in the match, Onyewu headed in a pass from Paul Souders for his sixth goal of the year. Gibson started the run with a long pass up the right side line to Souders who dribbled passed several defenders before crossing the ball to Onyewu.
After a scoreless first overtime period, Onyewu scored the game winner for his third game winning goal of the season.
"It is impossible to put into words just how proud I am of this team," said Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair. "The guys never gave up and they simply would not be denied. I told them to take all the experiences they have gained throughout the season and that is exactly what they did."
The Tigers now will advance to meet No. 4 seed Indiana on Sunday afternoon in Bloomington, IN. The time for the game has not yet been set. Indiana defeated Rutgers 3-0 on Sunday to advance to the Elite Eight. It will be Clemson's ninth appearance in the Final Eight ever, and the third trip under Adair.
UAB-Flavio Monteiro (Nelson Mata) 39:59
UAB-MartinRey (Bubba Garcia) 49:06
Clemson-Nick Rivera (Chase Hilgenbrinck and Brett Branan) 79:54 Clemson-Oguchi Onyewu (Brad Gibson and Paul Souders) 88:22 Clemson-Oguchi Onyewu (Oscar Bringsved,) 106:55
Shots: Clemson 23, UAB 5
Corner Kicks: Clemson 8, UAB 2
Saves: Doug Warren (CU) 2, Clint Baumstark (UAB) 8
Fouls: Clemson 28, UAB 20