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Liberty Blanks Winthrop, 3-0
The Liberty Flames used two goals from Darren Amoo and a goal from Richard Nyarko, en route to a 3-0 victory over the reigning Big South Champion Winthrop Eagles, 3-0, in a conference match at Eagle Field, Saturday night.
Liberty evens its Big South record at 1-1 and moves to 5-2-1 overall on the season. Winthrop drops to 0-1 in conference play and 2-5 overall. The contest was the third shutout of the year for the Flames.
Through the opening 25 minutes of the contest, the two teams traded offensive bursts. After Liberty midfielder Alex Verville forced a save by Eagle goalkeeper Enrique Miranda in the second minute of play, host Winthrop pressed the Flames' goal with four consecutive shots over a five-minute stretch, starting in the fifth minute.
The Eagles' first shot of the game, by forward Felipe Netto, hit the post and bounced clear in the fifth minute. Five minutes later, after a Winthrop shot was blocked out resulting in a corner kick, defender Wylie Rea's header got Liberty goalkeeper Paul Gilbert into the action, as the netminder was forced to make his first save of the game in the 10th minute.
The Flames countered with back-to-back shot attempts in the 16th minute. Verville fired the first shot of the span, which Miranda corralled for a save. After a failed clear by Winthrop in the 20th minute, Liberty got a corner kick on which a defender Chris Osborne was able to attempt a shot which was blocked by a defender.
In the 32nd minute, the Flames took a 1-0 edge. Midfielder Phillip Aseweh sent a crossing pass into the penalty area for forward Amoo, who headed the ball past a diving Miranda at 31:41 for the first Liberty goal of the evening.
During the opening half, the host Eagles held a 9-7 shot advantage over the Flames and a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
Liberty added to its lead during the early minutes of the second half, when Amoo netted his second marker of the contest. Verville lofted a pass into the 18-yard penalty area, which defender Greg White headed down in front of the goal mount for Amoo, who ripped a shot into the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage at 50:24. The goal was the forward's Big South-leading seventh of the year and completed his second straight two-goal outing.
The Flames put the contest out of reach in the 75th minute. Midfielder Nyarko stepped in front of a clearing attempt by Miranda right in front of the net and then placed the ball into the open net for his first goal in a Liberty uniform and the final score of 3-0.
Winthrop edged the Flames, 15-14, in shots and held a 7-5 edge in corner kicks.
Gilbert recorded five saves while playing the full 90 minutes in the Liberty goal. Miranda made four saves for Eagles.
The Flames return home Friday for a Big South match with Coastal Carolina. Match time is scheduled for 4 p.m.