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Aug 26, 2022

Sylla’s Brace Lifts No. 1 Tigers Over No. 13 Indiana on Opening Night

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CLEMSON, S.C. – Ousmane Sylla’s 80th-minute scoring strike inside the box secured a 3-2 victory for top-ranked Clemson against No. 13 Indiana in front of 6,359 fans at Historic Riggs Field to open the 2022 season in a nationally televised showcase. On the evening that the Tigers celebrated their 2021 National Championship in front of their home fans, they put together a strong performance and came out the victor of a back-and-forth battle between two of college soccer’s heavyweights. 

It was the Hoosiers who first drew blood, capitalizing on a Tiger miscue in the penalty area just over five minutes into the match. The Tigers’ struck back in the 12th minute, as Mohamed Seye laid the ball off to Ousmane Sylla just outside the penalty box. The junior midfielder took two touches to his right and then hit a perfectly placed shot across his body into the left-side panel.

Just four minutes later in the 16th minute, Seye made an incredible move in the midfield to beat his defender and attacked the Indiana penalty box with speed before hitting a left-footed outside-the-boot beauty into the back of the net, giving Clemson the 2-1 advantage. The Tigers would hold that all the way into halftime.

Indiana came out on the offensive, as a Ben Erkens tackle caught a bit too much of Indiana forward Tommy Mihalic, resulting in a penalty kick. Ryan Wittenbrink sent Trevor Manion the wrong way and knotted the game at 2-2 in the 52nd minute. 

Manion made several key second-half saves to keep the score level, and as the match appeared destined for a draw, Sylla received a pass from Elton Chifamba and dribbling to his right blasted the ball into the top of the net to send the crowd into a frenzy. The goal came with just over ten minutes remaining and gave Sylla, a sophomore from Dakar, Senegal, his first career brace.

The Tigers were able to hang on to win the historic matchup on opening night and win its opener for a fourth consecutive season.

The Tigers return to action at Historic Riggs Field on Monday, Aug. 29 when they host the USC Upstate Spartans. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. and the match will stream on ACCNX.

For all the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson men’s soccer, please visit and follow @ClemsonMSoccer on Twitter and Instagram.