MIAMI, Fla. – In its eighth overtime game in 16 matches, South Carolina (6-5-5, 3-1-3 C-USA) battled FIU (6-8-1, 2-4-1 C-USA) to a 0-0 draw in Conference USA play on Wednesday night. The Gamecocks collect one point in the league race with the result.
The Panthers outshot the Gamecocks 26-11 on the night, putting five of their shots on goal to South Carolina’s three. Junior defender Mahamoudou Kaba posted two shots, one coming on frame, and freshman forward Eli Dent added three shots for the Gamecocks. Junior forward Quentin Albrecht notched eight shots on the night for FIU and had a game-high two shots on goal. FIU held the upperhand in corner kicks as well with an 8-6 advantage.
Gamecock freshman Marco Velez was tested in the match, but recorded 5 saves in the draw. Sophomore Daniel Mion had two saves in the match for the Panthers.
Early on, the Gamecocks were awarded back-to-back corner kick opportunities. Torda looked for Kaba both times from the opposite ends of the field. Kaba managed a header on the second chance, but the shot went wide.
In the 27th minute, junior midfielder Stephen Anderson put a shot on frame. Mion saved the attempt.
Freshman midfielder Kurtis Turner’s long-range shot in the 36th minute found the crossbar.
FIU nearly put a goal on the scoreboard with just five minutes remaining courtesy of Albrecht. Freshman forward Luis Betancur set Albrecht up deep. The attempt went just wide of the post to keep the match scoreless at the half.
In the 55th minute, junior defender Sean MacFarlane fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box. Velez was there to make a diving save.
Kaba nearly scored in the 65th minute. After receiving a ball just outside the six-yard box, Kaba got a low shot off around his defender, but he did not trick Mion who hauled in the save.
In the 74th minute, FIU’s freshman midfielder Angel Josue Espana sent a rocket towards the net and had beaten Velez, but it clanked off the far post to keep the match scoreless.
The Panthers had an 11-1 shot advantage in the second half, but could not score. The teams went to overtime after 90 minutes of scoreless play.
South Carolina tried to strike first in the extra period. Dent’s attempt just 1:01 into the extra time was wide. It would be the Gamecocks’ only shot of the two overtime periods.
Velez made another spectacular save in the 96th minute. The Gamecocks were whistled for a foul just outside the 18-yard box. The direct kick on the restart from senior midfielder Gonzalo Frechilla was a rocket towards the upper right 90. Velez earned the save to keep South Carolina alive.
With just seconds remaining on the clock in the first extra period, the Gamecocks were issued a yellow card. On the restart from the corner of the 18-yard box on the near side, FIU found freshman defender Marvin Hezel. Hezel’s header was wide of the goal. Unable to convert on the offensive opportunity, the teams went on to a second overtime.
The best chance for the Panthers in the second period came in the 108th minute. Espana fired another shot towards Velez, but the keeper was able to get a hand on it for the save. Hezel collected the rebound and sent the ball back towards goal. His attempt was wide and the teams remained scoreless.
The Gamecocks are on the road again this weekend, continuing C-USA play at No. 10 UAB on Sunday, Nov. 3. The match in Birmingham, Ala., is the final regular-season road match of the season. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. ET