CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Behind two goals by Kyle Parker and a penalty kick goal by Tyler Gibson, the Charlotte 49ers (6-5-3) defeated 14th-ranked Clemson (9-4-2), 3-1, at Transamerica Field in their final non-conference game.
“Clemson is a great team, higher RPI, great record, high ranking team,” Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said. “We knew coming in that tonight was going to be a tough, competitive type of game I am proud of the guys to have that resilience after they tied it up 1-1. They showed that mentality that we have preached and demanded here. Both teams did not want to give an inch; both teams stood up and fought each other. “
The 49ers first goal came after Giuseppe Gentile made a run down the center of the field he passed the ball to Gibson on the right side of the field. Gibson blasted a shot toward the goal that Clemson’s goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell blocked. Parker corralled the rebound and put the ball into the back of the net near the far left post in the 59th minute.
“I know Tyler Gibson is always going to hit it low and hard across the goal,” Parker said. “I took my chances to get in the box in case the keeper blocks it down. The ball happened to fall at my feet.”
Clemson tied the score at one when T.J. Casner crossed the ball from the left side of the field in the corner of the box to Manolo Sanchez far post. Sanchez headed in the Casner cross in the 66th minute.
Charlotte regained the lead for good when Gibson took a corner kick in the 69th minute. Gibson’s corner kick went in front of the goal and a Clemson player was called for a hand ball in the box giving the 49ers a penalty kick. Gibson converted the penalty kick banging the ball into the lower right corner of the goal. Gibson’s goal was his first of the season and the 11th of his career.
The 49ers third goal came when Gentile made a run up the left side of the field toward the top of the box. He crossed the ball to Will Mayhew in the right corner of the box near the end line. Mayhew headed the ball to Parker at the near post. Parker blasted the ball into the back of the net near the far post in the73rd minute. Parker’s goal was his team-leading sixth goal of the season and the eighth of his career.
“Kyle Parker is a poise player, wonderful with the ball at his feet,” Langan said. “He is a selfless player, but he is getting the goals that his play deserves.”
Charlotte’s defense limited Clemson to one goal. Clemson had 11 shots but only four shots on the goal.
Charlotte finished the game with a 16-11 advantage in shots. Parker led the 49ers with four shots. Gibson had three shots. Mayhew and Gentile had two shots apiece.
Gentile had a great scoring chance in the 61st minute but his shot on the run just went wide of the goal.
Charlotte will not return to action until a road game at Conference USA foe Florida Atlantic, Wednesday, October 30 at 7 pm.