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Amoo Paces Flames Past Bluefield

August 29, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Joshua Boateng assisted on a goal in Liberty's victory Friday night.

Joshua Boateng assisted on a goal in Liberty's victory Friday night.

Forward Darren Amoo scored three goals in his first collegiate contest, as the Liberty Flames opened their 2008 season with a 3-1 victory over the Bluefield Rams, Friday night, at the Liberty Soccer Field.

The Flames, who controlled play for most of the contest, move to 1-0 on the season. The Rams begin their season at 0-1.

Pressuring the Bluefield net early, Liberty broke through for the first goal of the night in the 18th minute. Freshman Juan Nino (MF, Katy, Texas) sent a centering pass into the box from the left wing, finding an open Amoo (R-Fr., F, Accra, Ghana), who neatly tucked the ball inside the left-hand post. The marker, Amoo's first of his collegiate career gave Liberty a 1-0 advantage.

After a shot attempt by Liberty's Joshua Boateng (Sr., MF, Accra, Ghana) went wide in the 23rd minute, Bluefield forward Eric Pozzani was fouled on a move into the penalty area in front of the Flames' goal. He was awarded a penalty kick at 27:12 and converted the kick to knot the game's scored at 1-1.

Liberty closed the final 15 minutes of the half with a flurry of six shots. In the 40th minute, the Flames had their best opportunity of taking a lead before the break. Thad Taylor (D, So., Spring, Texas) beat a defender and sent a blast off the far right post, which rebounded back to the defender.

After settling it at his feet, he ripped another shot, which just skirted the right post wide, sending the game to intermission at 1-1. In the half, Liberty outshot Bluefield, 11-3.

The Flames controlled play to open the second half. Liberty fired four shots on net over the first six minutes, taking the lead 2-1 on the fourth shot of the span.

Ammo began the barrage with a shot which nicked and went over the crossbar in the 49th minute. The forward then finished the flurry with his second goal of the night in the 51st minute.

Boateng forced a turnover by a Bluefield defender on the left wing just outside the penalty area near the endline and fed a pass into the center of the box for Ammo. The rookie then put the ball into the lower right-hand corner, giving the Flames a 2-1 advantage at 50:47.

Liberty continued to carry possession in the period, not allowing a Bluefield shot until the 86th minute. Meanwhile, the Flames' continued to pepper the Ram net with shots, only to have several hit the crossbar or find a post.

In the 75th minute, Boateng found space between the midfield line and above the 18-yard box, launching a hard liner which hit the crossbar square and bounced back.

Forward Justin Willoughby (Sr., Greenville, N.C.) pounced on a loose ball just outside the penalty area in the 84th minute and sent a shot attempt towards net, only to have it hit the right post and bound away.

Amoo collected his third goal of the game in the waning seconds, as he stole the ball from a defender, moved into space and blasted a shot into the upper right corner of the net at 89:54. The goal, his third of the contest, sealed Liberty's 3-1 victory.

The Flames outshot the Rams, 15-2, in the final half of play and 26-5 for the match. Amoo led all players with nine shot attempts, while Boateng had five shot attempts. Pozzani had three shots to lead Bluefield.

Liberty goalkeeper Paul Gilbert (So., Rockvale, Tenn.) made four saves on the evening, while Bluefield keeper Jeff Fields had three saves in the contest.

The Flames host Campbell on Tuesday at Liberty Soccer Field. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m., at the Liberty Soccer Field.