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Mar 20, 2021

Diop Scores Late to Secure Victory for No. 1 Clemson

CLEMSON, S.C. — The No. 1 Clemson Tigers (11-2-1) broke through in the 87th minute of play Saturday night to secure a late victory at home as freshman defender Hamady Diop scored his first career goal from the penalty spot. Clemson’s 1-0 win over NC State (2-8-2) on Saturday night extended its home unbeaten streak to 23 matches.

The opening 45 minutes of action were a hard-fought battle for possession with neither side able to find the back of the net. Clemson had a 5-0 advantage in shots and a 4-0 advantage in corners during the opening half of play.

The Tigers roared coming out of the half, stringing together 15 minutes of quality possession and a pair of quick corners. Clemson had a penalty kick opportunity in the 80th minute, but a save by NC State’s Leon Krapf kept the attempt out of the goal.

The deadlock was finally broken by Diop in the 87th minute, as the native of Dakar, Senegal stepped to the penalty spot after Callum Johnson drew a foul inside the box. Diop confidently took the ball, walked to the spot and slotted home the deciding goal. The Tigers defense held stout over the final three minutes and secured the squad its fifth home victory of the season.

You know, any time you play in the ACC it’s going to be a one goal game. I think 80-90% of the games are going to be that way,” said head coach Mike Noonan. “We [the coaching staff] told the guys about that this week, and in the locker room before the game started… The emotion to miss a penalty and then to make a penalty to win the game… That tells you a lot about the character of the group and tells you a lot about the challenge we  keep giving to them which is that they’re here to achieve something, not just to belong as members of the men’s soccer team. We’ve got more to achieve starting next week with BC [Boston College].”

Clemson men’s soccer will return to action on Saturday, March 27, in Newton, Mass., against Boston College. Kickoff set for 1 p.m. on ACCNX.

For all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson men’s soccer, be sure to reference and follow @ClemsonMSoccer on Twitter.