Tresor Mbuyu scored his sixth goal of the season, Sunday.
The Liberty Flames used a solid defensive effort to fuel a 1-0 win over the Dayton Flyers, Sunday afternoon in the closing match of the Dayton Tournament at Baujan Field.
Despite being outshot, 25-10, the Liberty defense only allowed Dayton five shots on goal. Meanwhile, the Flames fired seven of their 10 shots on net.
The nation's leading goal scorer entering the weekend, Liberty forward Tresor Mbuyu scored the lone goal of the contest, his fifth of the season, during the 32nd minute.
Liberty goes 1-0-1 on the weekend to claim the Dayton Tournament Championship and moves to 2-1-1 on the year. Dayton drops to 2-2-2 on the year.
Liberty midfielder Kevin Mendoza was named the tournament's MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by Mbuyu and midfielders Shaun Stocker and Pepe Segarra. Mendoza scored Liberty's goal in their 1-1 tie with Fort Wayne on Friday and assisted on Mbuyu's marker, this afternoon.
The host Flyers held the possession during the opening the minutes of the first half. After a failed clearing attempt during the second minute of play, Dayton midfielder Alvaro Navarro received a pass into the box for a shot, but was denied by Liberty goalkeeper James Knoebel, who smothered the shot.
Keeping on the attack, a foul just outside the right side of the 18-yard box gave Dayton a free kick during the seventh minute. However, Knoebel easily corralled a shot by Navarro, who put the kick attempt on goal.
Liberty got its first shot of the contest on the counterattack during the 11th minute. After a scramble for a loose ball in the midfield, Mendoza pushed a ball past the Dayton defense. Mbuyu ran onto the ball and pushed a shot towards the right corner of the goal, forcing a diving save by Flyers goalkeeper Federico Barrios.
The shot led to Liberty offensive pressure. The Flames knocked down several Dayton clearing attempts in the midfield and sent the ball forward into the attacking zone. The pressure paid off in another shot by Mbuyu from the left side of the box during the 14th minute.
During the middle of the half, the Liberty defense allowed only one shot on three consecutive corner kicks by Dayton.
After getting another shot attempt on the counterattack by defender Geovanny Murillo during the 29th minute, a give-and-go between Mbuyu and Mendoza resulted in the first goal of the contest. Mbuyu sent a pass to the top of the box for Mendoza. After Mbuyu moved past a Flyer defender, Mendoza pushed a pass onto the foot of Mbuyu on the left side of the box. The Liberty sniper blasted a shot into the lower, far right corner for a 1-0 lead at 31:26.
Dayton ended the half with two header shots from in close during the final five minutes, one which was saved by Knoebel and the other which went high.
The host Flyers held a 12-6 shot advantage in the first half, but the Flames had four of their shots go on goal, while Dayton only had three of their shots fall on net.
It did not take Liberty long to get a quality chance in the second half. Off the kickoff, Mendoza found Mbuyu for a shot which Barrios tipped wide of the net during the half's opening minute.
Dayton almost found the equalizer during the 63rd minute. After the Liberty defense blocked a shot by midfielder Trey Marchino at the top box and cleared, Navarro pounced on the loose ball and ripped a shot off the left post from 25 yards out. The rebound caused a scramble in front, before a Flyer was called offside.
Over the final 25 minutes, Dayton pushed extra men forward in an attempt to find a goal to tie the game. However, the Liberty defense held. The Flames did not allow a shot on goal during the span.
The Flyers' best opportunity to knot the contest in the final minutes came during the 79th minute. Navarro came free for a shot from the center of the box. Under pressure, the Dayton midfielder punched his attempt high over the goal.
Liberty's Knoebel made five saves in the contest. Dayton's Barrios recorded six saves.
The Flyers held a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Flames will return home to Osborne Stadium, Saturday. Liberty will host the ETSU Buccaneers. Match time is scheduled for Noon.