Unlucky Bounce Halts Upset Bid
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - A very unlucky bounce of the ball was just enough to halt UNLV's upset bid on Sunday afternoon, as UC Riverside scored a tying goal in the 90th minute, and then a golden goal just over a minute into the second overtime for a 4-3 victory in men's college soccer action from Peter Johann Memorial Field. The Highlanders ran their perfect record to 5-0 this season with the win, while UNLV fell to 1-4-1 for the year.
UNLV had scored a go-ahead goal in the 87th minute, and were less then a minute away from a second straight home win, when UCR send the ball forward on the attack. The ball came into the box, and as a UNLV defender went to clear it out, the ball took a bounce off the ground and then straight up, hitting the defender in the arm. That resulted in an handball call, giving the Highlanders a penalty kick. Jose Diaz converted the PK attempt, tying the score at 3-3 with 52 seconds to play in the second half.
The game would go into overtime, where both team had one shot on goal each. UCR opened the second half with the ball and drew a corner kick. Juan Mendoza send the kick into the front of the box, where Long headed the ball to the back of the next for the golden goal in the 102nd minute.
UNLV scored the only goal of the first half when on a breakaway Nick Marshall fed a through ball to Jose Mendoza on the left side. From right outside the box Mendoza slotted a shot to the right post, putting the Rebels up 1-0 on his first goal of the year.
UCR would answer back in the second half with back-to-back scores. Both goals came off loose balls in the box, the first from Ivan Garcia in the 58th minute, the second from Ruben Valencia in the 64th to put the Highlanders ahead 3-2. Then it was UNLV's turn to answer. Marshall posted his second goal of the weekend when he dribbled away from a couple of defenders, and from 15 yards out on the left side blasted a hard low shot to the left side that went right through UCR goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi. That tied the game at 2-2 in the 79th minute.
Freshman Rodrigo Fuentes put the Rebels ahead 3-2 in the 87th minute following a corner kick. Robert Garcia assisted on the score, with his corner kick finding Fuentes in the box, who kicked a shot to the left post for the goal. Three minutes later UCR would score the tying goal.
UNLV finished with a slight 14-13 edge on shots, though shots on goal were 7-6 in favor of UCR. Corner kicks were four for UNLV, three for the Highlanders. Joe Vitale made three saves in the net for the Rebels, and Khosravi was credited with three.
The Rebels return to action this weekend when they host the UNLV Nike Invitational. UNLV will face Syracuse on Friday at 7 pm, and that's followed by a Sunday, Sept. 16 contest against Canisius at 1 pm.