Virginia scored three goals in the last 30 minutes of the match as the second-ranked Cavaliers knocked off No. 1 Clemson 3-1 Sunday in the ACC Championship Game in Cary, N.C.
The win gave the Cavaliers, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, their first ACC Championship in 10 years.
Clemson scored its lone goal early in the first half as the team took advantage of a corner kick at the 18:30 mark. Kimarni Smith delivered the corner into the box onto the head of captain Malik Mbaye. Not making great contact, the ball fell back to the foot of forward James Brighton who delivered a strike into the back of the net, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Neither team scored again until Virginia broke through midway through the second half. At 64:55, Virginia’s Irakoze Donasiyano delivered a through ball onto the foot of Axel Gunnarsson who sent the ball to the back post, tying the match 1-1.
Just under 20 minutes later, at 81:08, Virginia scored its game winner when Daniel Steedman sent a near post corner to the feet of Kabrel Happi Kamesu who was able to beat Clemson keeper George Marks on the weak side, giving UVA a 2-1 lead and the match.
Virginia found the net once more in the match after Mbaye got a red card in the box at 82:27, putting the Tigers a man down and awarding Virginia a penalty kick. Ten seconds Robin Afamefuna buried the PK past Marks.
The season is far from over for the Tigers, who will likely have home field advantage for a good portion of the NCAA Tournament. The committee will announce the tournament field on Monday with the selection show starting at 1 p.m.
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Fanatics. This is great news for Tiger fans as they have the officially licensed Clemson gear.
The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.