Men’s soccer: Koffi scores electrifying golden goal in UVA double OT win over Pitt
Junior Jean-Christophe Koffi (Potomac, Md.) scored the game-winning goal in the 107th minute, propelling No. 10 UVA(10-2-3, 3-1-3) to a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh (8-7, 2-5 ACC). The Cavaliers improved to 4-1-3 in overtime this season.
Koffi took it upon himself to put an end to Virginia’s eighth overtime contest of the 2017 season. The junior midfielder carried the ball from the Virginia side of the field, beat two defenders in the middle of the pitch and fired a laser to the upper left corner of the net. The tally was his third of the year and second overtime winner this season.
“I couldn’t ask for a better game and a better goal to win it,” said head coach George Gelnovatch. “I give our guys a lot of credit, in the first overtime we controlled the whole 10 minutes. We didn’t panic, didn’t start to do things any differently and by the second overtime Koffi just went out and did his thing.”
Virginia took charge late in the first half when Raheem Taylor-Parkes (Tampa, Fla.) broke a scoreless tie with his second goal of the year in the 40th minute. He had come on as a sub just 16 seconds earlier and ran on to a long pass from Prosper Figbe (Ilorin, Nigeria) for the go-ahead score. Figbe played all 107 minutes and registered his first point of the season with the assist.
Pittsburgh tied the game up on an exquisite individual effort by Alexander Dexter. He was able to beat a Virginia defender in the box and created a one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper in which his buried his sixth goal of the season into the upper left corner of the goal.
The Cavaliers weren’t short on chances in the final stages of the contest including two quality, second-half shots, one by Faris Abdi (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) and another by Pablo Aguilar (Guatemala City, Guatemala) that were both denied by Pittsburgh goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt. The Cavalier attack out-shot the Panthers, 12-3 in the final 62 minutes of play.
Outcalt, who came into the game leading the ACC in save percentage, made four stops. The Virginia defense in front of Jeff Caldwell (Todd, N.C.) only surrendered one shot on target, the second half goal. Pittsburgh did not attempt another shot after scoring the equalizer.
In the 86th minute, red cards were issued to Virginia’s Julian Cummings and Pittsburgh’s Tim Ekpone forcing the teams to play 10 v 10 for the remainder of the contest.
Up Next: Virginia will close out the regular season next Friday (Oct. 27) with a pivotal match against Coastal Division foe, Duke in Durham, N.C. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will air live on ACC Network Extra.
-Virginia improved to 6-0-1 against Pittsburgh all-time.
-Of the four overtime wins this season, tonight’s game was the first against an ACC opponent. Virginia is now 4-1-3 in extra time games this season.
-The Pittsburgh goal in the second half was only the second that Virginia has yielded to the Panthers in seven total games.
-Prior to the game, Virginia honored five seniors – Jeff Caldwell, Julian Cummings, Liam Jenkins, Nate Odusote and Fabrice Shema.
-At halftime, the Virginia athletic department honored the 1992 National Championship team.