VSN (admin) Published Sunday, November 20, 2022 – 3:00 p.m
OKLAHOMA CITY – Second time in three days PhD student forward Rodrigo Albuquerque came as his volley shot goal hit the clutch in the 80th Minute No. 2 on the MACU men’s soccer team put the lead as the Evangels defeated No. 17 Oklahoma Wesleyan 2-0 in Saturday night’s NAIA Tournament second round game at Dill Soccer Field to advance to the final venue of the NAIA National to advance to the championship.
- 2nd Half – MACU – 79:15 – Goal: Rodrigo Albuquerque (14), Assist: Rodrigo Ferreira – MACU 1, OKWU 0
- 2nd Half – MACU – 86:55 – Goal: Francois Geris-Rey (1), Assist: Ricardo Ferreira – MACU 2, OKWU 0
- Both sides struggled to gain a foothold in the early stages, but Mid-America Christian got the first chance in the ninth minute. After Luan Cesar was knocked down by an OKWU defender, Bruno Sperandio was set up for a free-kick from 35 yards near the left touchline. Sperandio deflected his free kick towards the top right corner but OKWU goalkeeper Ilija Catic made an excellent save to slide the ball over the end line to an Evangels corner.
- Oklahoma Wesleyan brought in the 24thth and 26th minutes but Abonnel easily intercepted a shot from Stefan Cvetanovic from 35 yards into the top right corner before repelling a fantastic dive against Cvetanovic’s later attempt at the left post from 24 yards to keep the game goalless.
- The next best chance for Central America Christian came in the 29th minuteth Minute when Diego Real dribbled around a defender and then collapsed through three down the left side of the box, but Catic saved his eight-yard effort towards the bottom left post to eventually see the game go scoreless at the half.
- The Eagles held on for most of the second half as Oklahoma Wesleyan forced three shots, but neither could find the mark as the Evangels were held without a shot for the first 32 minutes before Edward Alderson headed in with a header MACU- corner at 78th Minute.
- In the 79thth Minute Mid-America put Christian ahead in one of America’s most incredible plays Rodrigo Albuquerques historical MACU career. Up front, Albuquerque dribbles to the left touchline and flicks it to the top of the box for Rodrigo Ferreira, who then floats a pass back to the right post for Albuquerque to break in, firing a 10-yard half-volley into the top left touchline, before Catic could react to give a 1-0 MACU lead.
- Three minutes later, Oklahoma Wesleyan had a golden opportunity to equalize when a false Sperandio pass ended in front of William Rodrigues, who skirted a pass for Cvetanovic, who broke down the left touchline. After going into the 18-yard box, Cvetanovic was brought down by Alderson, creating a penalty opportunity for the Eagles with 7:35 left.
- Matheus Ferreira’s PK attempt saw Abonnel make the biggest save of his MACU career when Ferreira’s attempt towards the right post was blocked by Abonnel’s outstretched right hand and pushed out to an Eagles corner, earning a 1-to-zero MACU – had an advantage.
- The Evangels have some much-needed reassurances left with 3:05. After Williams schooled a deep shot from OKWU away for Francois Geris-Rey’s run, the midfielder redirected a deep pass to Ricardo Ferreira, who broke through the right touchline. Ferreira then stopped play and redirected the pass back to Geris-Rey near the top of the box before taking a dribble to the right and firing a shot across the field that bounced off the inside of the left post and into the back of the net to clear the score to increase to 2:0.
- For the first time this season, Mid-America Christian was shot wide in a game when Oklahoma Wesleyan held a 12-8 lead, but the Evangels were more effective at getting their shots on target as MACU held a 5- 4 had on shots on goal.
- After scoring two goals in Thursday’s win against Bellevue, Rodrigo Albuquerque added another game winner in the win over Oklahoma Wesleyan as his starting shot was his team-leading 14th of the season and the winner of the fourth game of the year.
- The score for Francois Geris-Rey was the first of his MACU career.
- The two assists for Ricardo Ferreira and Rodrigo Ferreira in MACU’s two goals were each their fourth of the season. As a result, both players climbed up MACU’s all-time record book as Rodrigo Ferreira moved up to fourth place with Willy Deleon (15), while Ricardo Ferreira moved up to eighth place with Willy Deleon (15). Pero Mikulic (11).
- Jeremi Abonnel and Sven van den Oever earned a combined shutout for MACU’s 15th clean sheet of the season. Abonnel made four saves over 86:55 before being ejected on a red card. Van den Oever relieved Abonnel and held the position to complete the shutout.
- Facing the fifth-best offense in the NAIA, the Evangels defense frustrated Oklahoma Wesleyan as MACU became only the fourth team to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard this season.
- The win marked the third time in the past five years that Mid-America Christian had advanced from the opening round game to a finishing spot in the NAIA National Championship. The last time MACU got out of the second round was Mandela Singh-Sharpe’s golden goal in the 109th minuteth Minute of double overtime to deliver a 3-2 win over Bethel (Tenn.) on April 24, 2021.
- The Evangels reignited a rivalry not played in 12 years, advancing to an all-time 4-3 against Oklahoma Wesleyan as MACU avenged a loss to the Eagles in the NCCAA Central Region Championship to the exact date 12 years ago . However, MACU continued to have success against OKWU on their home court as the Evangels are now 4-0 all-time at home to the Eagles.
- The win saw Mid-America Christian improve to 19-1-2 for the season, while Oklahoma Wesleyan finished with a 14-6-3 record.
- Mid-America’s Christian, who owns the top seed on the national side, will now travel to Decatur, Alabama to compete for the NAIA National Championship at the Jack Allen Soccer Complex. The Evangels will meet the winner of the opening round match between No. 10 William Carey (Miss.) and No. 20 Rio Grande (Ohio) on December 1 at 1 p.m.
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