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Easley’s late goal gives Clemson win over USF

Toby Corriston // Contributor
No. 7 Isaiah Easley and No. 25 Nathan Richmond have been crucial to the Tigers’ offense this season.

Clemson United defeated the University of South Florida Bulls 3-2 in a chippy game at Corbett Soccer Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday.

Playing without Mohamed Seye, the team’s leading goal scorer, the Tigers (3-2-1, 0-1 ACC) staged a comeback victory to secure their third win of the season.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Clemson tied the game up in the 67th minute when midfielder Joran Gerbet created space at the top of the 18-yard box and headed in a cross from Ousmane Sylla, who had taken the free kick. Both teams then traded goals over the next 14 minutes to make it a 2-2 game.

As time ran out, Clemson forward Isaiah Easley took advantage of a loose ball in the Bulls’ penalty area, delivering a right-footed strike that ricocheted off the left post and into the net at the 81:15 mark. This goal won the game and secured the Tigers’ first road victory of the season.

Thirteen minutes into the game, South Florida (1-4-0) midfielder Ajmeer Spengler penetrated Clemson’s defense on a breakaway goal for the first score of the night.

Following USF’s first goal, Clemson maintained possession of the ball, but the USF backline held strong. Clemson made multiple attempts to score in the first half, which included numerous set pieces from the four corners and three shots on goal. But the team struggled to breach the USF defense, and the Tigers entered the break empty-handed.

The start of the second resembled more of the same for the two teams. Clemson confined the home team to its own half and continued a barrage of attempts to get in behind the USF defense.

Nearly four minutes after Gerbet’s score, Clemson’s Brandon Parrish curled a free kick from just outside the box into the upper left corner of the goal, giving Clemson a sudden 2-1 lead.

This snapped the Bulls out of their defensive mentality as they recognized the urgency for a goal, which they quickly connected for in the 80th minute when Shion Soga found the back of the net thanks to a rebound off a clearance by Clemson’s keeper, Joseph Andema.

Nonetheless, Easley’s score roughly two minutes later ultimately gave the Tigers the win.

Despite Clemson coming away with the win, the Tigers had multiple mishaps that left them trailing 1-0 at the half. The opening 10 minutes alone saw two yellow cards against the Tigers for Ousmane Sylla and Pape Mar Boye; Clemson went on to tally 10 fouls in the game compared to the Bulls’ 17.

The Tigers will return to Historic Riggs Field on Friday to face No. 8 Duke at 7:30 p.m. The men’s game will be played after Clemson women’s soccer, ranked No. 8, takes on No. 4 Florida State at 4 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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