Philip Wong Bends it like Beckham to Extend their Undefeated RecordSeptember 30, 2015
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Despite playing a man down for more than 65 minutes, the Railsplitters (5-0-1, 2-0-1 SAC) remained unbeaten by playing the Tusculum Pioneers (4-1-1, 1-0-1 SAC) to a 1-1 draw in South Atlantic Conference men's soccer action on Wednesday in Greeneville, Tenn.
The first 43 minutes passed with little to no drama as the Railsplitters and Pioneers combined for just four shots on goal without anything to show for it. But the match took a dramatic shift just before halftime when Nathaniel Johnson (London, England) was shown a red card and ejected from the game, forcing Lincoln Memorial to play with 10 men for the remainder of the match.
The man deficit didn't seem to inhibit the Railsplitters early in the second half as they produced three corner kicks and shots on goal from Nick Spielman (Melbourne, Fla.) and Henrique Rezek (Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil) in the first six minutes. Tusculum briefly threatened later in the half, firing off three shots in a two-minute span, including an attempt by Andre De Giorgi that hit the post in the 65th minute, but the Railsplitters absorbed that to keep the match scoreless.
In the 72nd minute, just two minutes after checking into the match, freshman Philip Wong (Hong Kong, China) scored his second goal of the season and staked Lincoln Memorial to a 1-0 lead, blasting one in from 20 yards out off of the free kick.
The Pioneers needed less than seven minutes for the equalizer, though, as Jonathan Spicher used a double assist from Guillermo Lazcano and De Giorgi to knot the match at 1-1.
The Railsplitters then survived a flurry from Tusculum over the last 22 minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime. Goalkeeper Pedro Ozi (Sao Paulo, Brazil) made saves in the 79th, 80th and 89th minutes to preserve the 1-1 stalemate. Victor Peres (Brasilia, Brazil), the hero from Saturday's win over Queens, recorded LMU's only shot on goal over that span in the 88th minute.
The Railsplitters recorded the only two shots in the first overtime period and accounted for the only shot on goal in either of the 10-minute overtime periods, as Lucas Coro (Ribeirao Preto, Brazil) nearly scored the game winner with 53 seconds left. Tusculum goalkeeper Jorge Alvarez was issued a red card in the 108th minute to open the door for the Railsplitters.
Ozi made a season-high seven saves to improve to 5-0-1 in his debut season with the Railsplitters. Pioneer keeper Alvarez made six stops before being ejected with 2:42 left to play. Ashley Elsey made the game-saving stop on Coro's shot attempt in the 110th minute, his only save of the match.
The Railsplitters outshot the Pioneers 19-15 but trailed in shots on goal 8-7. Lincoln Memorial produced 12 corner kicks in the match, its highest output since creating 14 corners in a win at Brevard on October 4, 2014.
It marked the second straight tie between Lincoln Memorial and Tusculum and the fourth all-time in the series, as the two teams played to a 1-1 draw in last season's meeting in Harrogate.
Next up, the Railsplitters complete their road-heavy start with a SAC match at Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday, set for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Hickory, N.C.