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Oct 27, 2020

Clemson Ends Top-Five Match in Hard-Fought Draw

CLEMSON, S.C. – After trading three goals apiece in a wild second half, No. 3 Clemson (5-1-1, 3-1-1 ACC) and No. 5 North Carolina (2-1-1, 2-1-1 ACC) played to a 3-3 tie on Tuesday night at Historic Riggs Field. 

“Tonight was another good learning experience,” said Head Coach Mike Noonan. “Give (North) Carolina credit for coming back. I was proud of our group for their resilient effort after Friday night and I look forward to going up to Wake Forest and doing it again this Friday.”

In the first half, the teams battled for possession in the midfield and exchanged offensive attacks, but neither side managed to put a goal on the scoreboard. The Tigers won the shot battle over the Tar Heels, 4-2, in the opening 45 minutes, but despite Clemson putting two shots on goal, the sides went into halftime in a 0-0 tie. 

Clemson’s offense finally broke through in the 58th minute. After being fouled just outside the penalty area, Kimarni Smith drove a brilliant, left-footed free kick past the Tar Heel wall and into the bottom right corner of the net.

Just seconds later, Smith pounced upon a loose ball in the box and fired it home to extend the Tigers’ lead to 2-0. With the brace, the senior forward recorded the 4th multi-goal match of his career and first of the season. 

However, the lead was short-lived as North Carolina returned two goals of their own in the 65th and 71st minutes to knot the score at 2-2. Clemson came roaring back in the 78th minute when Callum Johnson played a perfect through ball to Grayson Barber, who dodged the Tar Heel goalkeeper and drove it home. The score put the Tigers on top 3-2 as Johnson logged his 30th career point via the assist.

North Carolina drew level for the final time by finding the back of the net in the 87th minute, forcing the match into overtime knotted at 3-3. Clemson would finish Tuesday’s match with 10 men on the field after Mohamed Seye was sent off following a collision with the Tar Heel goalkeeper.

After two hard-fought overtime periods, the teams finished in a 3-3 stalemate. 

Clemson returns to action with its regular season finale on the road against Wake Forest on Friday, Oct. 30. The game is set to kick off at 5 p.m. in Winston-Salem, N.C., and will be broadcast on RSN. For all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson men’s soccer, be sure to follow @ClemsonMSoccer on Twitter.