VCU Men’s Soccer welcomed Temple University to Sports Backers Stadium on a humid Friday evening. The two teams went toe to toe for 90 minutes that featured an act of defense by the Rams and a penalty kick that swung the momentum with one placed kick.
Defending Gets Physical, Physical
The first round of minutes at Sports Backers featured physical warfare between VCU and Temple. Both teams went tackle for tackle which led to the officials blowing their whistles early to keep the match in order. The Owls were able to get their offense going first with a couple of strikes but none resulting in a goal.
Temple nearly drew first blood in the 21st minute with three consecutive strikes. Elias Villegas took the first chance and was blocked by the Rams. VCU’s defense turned into a brick wall blocking two consecutive strikes by Temple off the rebound. One more chance was created by Andres Barrera on the Temple corner kick; Belal Mohamed took the chance and once again VCU’s defense would deny the Owls on a block.
Breakthrough From The PK Spot
Fortia Munts would take VCU’s first strike of the match in the 24th minute. Munts was denied by Simon Lefebvre in goal and Jared Greene would suffer the same fate a minute later. Nothing was going in for the Rams as the Owls kept soaring away with possession into the midfield and beyond.
An opportunity was sprung for the Black & Gold in the 42nd minute in the form of a penalty kick. Zach Brown committed the foul inside the penalty area and was shown a yellow card for Temple. This led to Siad Haji stepping up to the penalty spot and scoring his first goal of the year in front of a rambunctious crowd at Sports Backers. VCU was delighted with a 1-0 advantage heading back into the locker room.
Splash Of Offense With Those Saves Please!
In the 2nd half, both teams laced up their boots and took shots early. Freshman Biska Biyombo spun a strike that sailed wide of the upper 90 for VCU. Haji made another opportunity with his feet that went up into the Friday night sky and over the goal. Hermann Doerner almost headed in a Temple equalizer in the 59th minute but cracked the crossbar instead.
Mario Sequeira made his first VCU save of the match at the 60th-minute mark. Lukas Fernandes created space off the touch and hit the shot to the chest of Sequeira for the save. Temple continued knocking on the door and VCU’s defense kept answering by slamming the door shut in front of goal.
Another save was made by Sequeira against Lillis Leandros in a 1v1 scenario. Leandros made his way towards the 18-yard line and took the strike that Sequeira pushed away to force a Temple corner kick. Jared Greene got too physical in the 76th minute against the Owls and was shown a yellow card.
Result Under Lock & Key For Rams
Chances on offense for the Rams was limited throughout the match. VCU took 8 strikes on the night with Biyombo, Haji, and Munts taking two strikes each. Defending was on the menu for the Rams against Temple until the final whistle. With less than two minutes left, Temple sent in one last corner kick that was booted upfield by VCU to seal the result.
A physical standoff at Sports Backers Stadium was rewarded to the Rams in a 1-0 win against Temple. VCU improved to 2-1 overall while the Owls fall to 0-2. Coming up for VCU is Santa Clara at Sports Backers Stadium on Sunday, September 2nd at 7 PM.